A 15-year-old Mexican youth stands on the corner talking to two friends. A 17-year-old black teen spots the trio and quickly approaches. He pulls out a knife, demanding the Mexican youth’s iPod while shouting anti-Latino slurs. The 17-year-old flees with the stolen items. The victim’s two companions, who are African-American, are unharmed.
This is one of the latest examples of what authorities say is an apparent uptick nationally in bias crimes against Latinos, and immigrant advocates and community leaders say they are particularly concerned about a spate of alleged hate crimes where African-Americans were the perpetrators.
“We saw, in the months of June and July, a tremendous increase –attacks at such a pace that it caused alarm,” said Mexican Consul General Ruben Beltran, whose office is supporting victims of a rash of violence against Mexicans on Staten Island, New York, that police say were bias crimes. “Hopefully, the worst is over.”
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