Thursday, March 30, 2006

Young black males and anti-Hispanic crime

Tami K. Phillips:

Recent attacks in the Hispanic community have police searching for suspects and many Latinos scared for their lives.

Police in both Forest and Morton have reported armed robberies and other attacks targeting Hispanics in past weeks. In some of the incidents, suspects used scare tactics like throwing a snake into a Hispanic family's home.

Most of the victims have reported that young black males committed the crimes against them.

Capt. Willie Anderson with the Morton Police Department said his department was recently alerted to the crimes when an individual reported that two black males entered his home on Oak Street where they struck his father in the head and robbed him.

Anderson visited the neighborhood and interviewed several Hispanic families with the help of a translator.

"Every one of them over there has had some kind of encounter with black males robbing them," Anderson said. "They're not reporting it. Some of them are illegal and they're afraid. There's also a language barrier there."

A total of 16 Hispanic individuals reported that they had been victims of crime, Anderson said. Some even reported that suspects stole food from their homes during the robberies.

"This is becoming very prominent," Anderson said. "They say it usually happens on pay day because most Hispanics carry large sums of money."

Anderson said his department has leads on one case and continues to investigate others.

Attacks are also on the rise in Forest where a Hispanic male was beaten badly over the weekend and transferred to the University Medical Center in Jackson for treatment.

Forest Police Chief Mike Lee said it was unclear if the man was the victim of a crime or a participant in a fight. No other information was available on the case.

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