Last Thursday, the Patchogue community came together at a vigil in memory of Marcelo Lucero and said NO to violence, hatred and bigotry that has been used against immigrants by presidential candidates.
“Our hearts maybe crying today but we are mindful that our spirits are filled with dreams and hopes of a tomorrow that will bring us together and that will bring us peace as a community and as people,” said Reverend Allen Ramirez, former pastor of the Brookville Reformed Church, at the vigil.
Long Island Wins interviewed several people at the vigil to get their reactions. This is what they said:
“I feel angry and very disappointed that I went to school with the people who did this, very disgusted that this happened in my community and more disgusted of the reason why an innocent man died,” Alexandra Schropfer, 22, who now lives in Medford.
“I know they did it because of the ignorance and the hatred they had but I just can’t believe it happened for the reason of him being Hispanic. If you look around and see everyone who is here supporting this, I think it has definitely brought the community together,” she said.
Milton Yanza, a Patchogue resident living in the community for 16 years said: “He was a nice guy, a very enthusiastic, happy and motivated man, who always was thinking about his family. Everything has changed a lot after that. The Latino community is more respected because it got out of the shadows. The relationship with the police is improving. People are no afraid anymore to walk in the streets. Police officers are now friendly and that makes you feel good. The vigil helps us to remember the past although it has been painful.”
Jhonny Once, who has lived in Patchogue for the last 13 years feels that the hatred has always been in his community and it is never going to disappear. “I came to support this because I feel that I am part of them. Discrimination has always been part of this community and it is going to continue if we don’t say enough. The relationship with the police has been improving but not enough to stop violence and leave us alone.”
Joselo Lucero, Marcelo’s brother spoke very emotionally about remembering his brother. Here he is during a passionate speech about the hateful rhetoric against immigrants in this campaign cycle: