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Attacks against Latinos in the US didn't stop after El Paso mass shooting

August 2, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

As Natalia Miranda lay on the ground, she didn't know how she got there. Her body was severely swollen and her clothes were torn and dirty.

Before the massacre, the suspected gunman — now indicted on more than 90 federal and state charges, including hate crimes — published a racist screed railing against Latinos and immigrants, authorities said.

The charges stem from three separate incidents one involving Natalia, one involving a Black teen and one related to allegedly yelling racial slurs at a gas station attendant, according to jail and court records, and police reports.

While the state case remains pending, Natalia's family is calling for federal hate crimes charges to be brought against Poole Franklin.

"If you don't charge someone with a hate crime when they tell you that that's why they did it, then when will you?" Alonso Miranda said.

Hate crimes targeting Latinos have increased every year since 2015, according to the 2018 FBI Hate Crime Statistics report, the latest data available.

In the past few months, more incidents involving Asians and Black people were reported than in the previous two years, Levin says, but it doesn't mean the anti-Latino sentiment is gone.

But even if hate crimes are actually reported, proving that a person committed a crime motivated by another person's race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability can be very difficult, said Phyllis Gerstenfeld, a professor and chair of the criminal justice department at California State University, Stanislaus.

Gerstenfeld, whose primary field of study is hate crimes, said there could be more incidents that remain unknown to authorities because victims don't feel comfortable reporting them.

They told police they heard the Vasquezes laughing and speaking Spanish and believed they were making fun of them, according to a police report, which redacted the women's names but they were later released by prosecutors.

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