In response to the string of alleged bias crimes against Latinos in Port Richmond, Staten Island, police officers have flooded the neighborhood and Curtis Sliwa’s Guardian Angels are patrolling the streets. Despite these efforts, the NYPD reported yesterday that they were investigating the 11th possible hate crime in the area since April 2010.
Hours after a community meeting on Friday night on how to stop the racially-motivated violence, a 17-year-old Mexican immigrant told police that he was beaten and robbed by three young men who shouted racial slurs. He claimed that a Hispanic man approached and distracted him as two African-American men attacked him from behind. According to the Staten Island Advance, the men punched him and shouted, “Go home, you ****ing Mexican!”, as well as called him a “wetback.” They also stole the $10 he had on him.
“It was an act of defiance,” said Rev. Terry Troia of the Communities United for Respect and Trust. “It goes to show that police presence isn’t the only thing that’s going to take this thing down. It’s going to be everyone’s eyes out on the streets.”
The attackers weren’t “representative of the community,” Troia added. She said that they were disaffected youth, and that these and similar attacks made the neighborhood “jumpy.”
Troia’s group is hosting an event tonight for the local African-American and Latino youth to come together and offer their ideas on how to stop the violence.