Saturday, December 13, 2008

U.S. House members seek tougher hate crime law

Juliann Vachon
December 11, 2008

WASHINGTON - In the wake of alleged hate crimes in Patchogue and Brooklyn, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said yesterday he would push for tough legislation in the next Congress targeting ethnic and racially motivated violence.

Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) said attacks against Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue and Jose Sucuzhanay in Brooklyn - both of Ecuadorean descent - underscore "the threat still faced by some in our society." Attackers also reportedly made anti-gay remarks at Sucuzhanay as he walked home arm-in-arm with his brother.

Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton) joined Conyers in the call for elected officials to seek out the root causes of ethnic and racially motivated violence.

"When hatred is allowed to build and fester, it eventually finds its way onto our streets," Bishop said. He added that the attack in Brooklyn early Sunday "demonstrates that hatred is not just limited to one community and that it will require a sustained, united effort to combat."

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