Before Ecuadoran immigrant Marcelo Lucero was murdered
last November in what has been classified a hate crime, other Spanish-speaking immigrants in and around Patchouge, Long Island had been racially taunted and sometimes beaten up by white people
, but nobody took it too seriously. 11 Latinos talked to the New York Times
about the harrassment and "beaner hopping" they experienced, and some of them said they'd told the police about it, too, but no arrests were made until someone stabbed Lucero while he was being pummeled by white kids (police say the stabber was Jeffrey Conroy, a star student at Patchogue-Medford High School).
The Times has devoted several stories to the incident, along with an editorial by Lawrence Downes complaining that the Patchogue Ecuadorans were being exploited by race activists and lawyers who encouraged them to "unload tales of abuse."