DOJ assesses Suffolk police changes toward minorities
In a small room at the Huntington Public Library Tuesday, officials with the United States Department of Justice heard about progress and complaints regarding Suffolk police from minority community members.
Latinos say there is a great mistrust between their community and police. Twice a year, the DOJ seeks to learn from community members what they believe can be done to improve relations with law enforcement.
In 2013, the DOJ reached an agreement with Suffolk police to build trust following the hate crime murder of an Ecuadorian immigrant in Patchogue. Latinos accused Suffolk police of not being responsive to their complaints, but activists say they've seen some progress.
Many Long Island Latinos are worried that the progress made with Suffolk police will be lost because of the current political climate. As President Donald Trump pushes for more deportations of undocumented immigrants, advocates say Latinos are becoming less likely to report crimes.
Advocates will raise their concerns with Suffolk Police Commissioner Tim Sini during a meeting Wednesday.