Wednesday, September 2, 2009
This afternoon, State Senator Pedro Espada, Assemblyman Nelson Castro, and others, held a press conference on Walton Avenue at East 182nd Street, to bring attention to a recent spate of vicious assaults in the neighborhood.
Police say a group of men of Dominican origin have been deliberately targeting Mexican immigrants. Last Saturday, the group allegedly shouted anti-Mexican slurs at two men before attacking them. Another man was assaulted on Sunday in similar circumstances, and another on Monday. At least one of the victims was stabbed.
“Obviously these are hate crimes we are dealing with,” said Espada, the Senate's majority leader. “There is a tidal wave of hate crime against immigrants in the Bronx, in New York City, in New York State, and throughout this country.”
He said he's offering a $1,000 reward – “my personal money” – to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators. He also talked about bringing together local clergy, community leaders, police, and youth, to form a "task force" with the aim of changing the perception some people have of immigrants.
“Our Mexican brothers and sisters have earned the right to be respected and to be protected in their homes and in their community," added Rev. Katrina Foster, pastor of nearby Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church. "They have come here to contribute and not to take away.”
PHOTO: Pedro Espada (talking) and Nelson Castro (right)