The estate of an Ecuadorian immigrant killed in 2008 is filing a $40 million civil rights lawsuit, blaming his death on police. The suit accuses police of failing to act on a pattern of violence against Hispanics.
Marcelo Lucero was killed during a confrontation with a group of Long Island teens who had been targeting Hispanics. The seven teens were convicted of hate crime related charges, and one is serving 25 years for manslaughter.
The lawsuit was filed yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn against Suffolk County, the towns of Brookhaven and Patchogue and their police and public safety departments.
The lawsuit blames police and elected officials for an atmosphere in which the teens felt they could attack immigrants with impunity. Suffolk County's response to bias attacks was the subject of a federal probe, and county executive Steve Levy has rejected allegations that his anti-immigration rhetoric created an inflammatory climate.