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Marcelo Lucero was killed late Saturday night near the commuter railroad station in Patchogue, N.Y., a middle-class village in central Long Island. He was beaten and stabbed. The friend who crouched beside him in a parking lot as he lay dying, soaked in blood, said Mr. Lucero, who was 37, had come to the United States 16 years ago from Ecuador.
The police arrested seven teenage boys, who they said had driven into the village from out of town looking for Latinos to beat up. The police said the mob cornered Mr. Lucero and another man, who escaped and later identified the suspects to the police. A prosecutor at the arraignment on Monday quoted the young men as having said: “Let’s go find some Mexicans.” They have pleaded not guilty.
As disturbing as that is, I am also troubled by the New York Times’ follow-up article by Anne Barnard, Admired by Many, but to Police a Killer. The article bends over backwards to paint the group of boys involved as basically “good kids” who just got a little carried away during a rousing night of “jump the Mexican.”
Prosecutors say he admitted to the police that he fatally stabbed Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant, on Nov. 8, after Mr. Conroy and six friends roamed the streets in search of Mexicans to beat up — a regular pastime that the group called “beaner jumping.”
No one is saying they didn’t do it, but it seems vital to this article’s author that it be known there isn’t a bigoted bone in these boys’ bodies, particularly Jeffrey Conroy, the one who did the stabbing. She lists non-white friends and family members of the young man, sounding a lot like the “I have a black friend!” defense. A relative is quoted as saying, “There is no prejudice in my family.” Jeffrey Conroy is even nice to his own half-brother, who is part Puerto-Rican! He plays Lacrosse! He wrestles! He gets along with his parents! He is “warm and patient with younger boys…”! He is “tall and muscular with a chiseled face and buzz cut…”!
Therefore the decision to “go find some Mexicans” is totally not based on racial hatred? How can it be interpreted in any other way? Especially considering that Mr. Lucero wasn’t even Mexican, he just looked Hispanic to his killers, and that was enough. All he did was look Hispanic in the wrong place and the wrong time to earn his death. How is that not racial?
A more appropriate NYT article from the same day as Barnard’s quotes fellow “bean-jumper” Jose Pacheco:
Mr. Pacheco later told the police, “I don’t go out and do this very often, maybe once a week,”
Aaahhh! So why is Barnard trying to paint these people as All-American Boys? It’s not like we’re not sure if they did it or not. That’s settled. How is their wrestling status at all related? This seems like a classic “boys will be boys” pass. Conroy is handsome, white, athletic, and well-liked. Therefore, let’s go easy on him, folks?
What about Marcelo Lucero? Uh, wasn’t he just as much a human being?
Bleh. Check out the Unapologetic Mexican’s post on this crime, Anti-Migrant Democrats Aiding Wave of Hate Crimes.