Marcelo Lucero’s death prompts changes for police and Patchogue

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PATCHOGUE -

Thursday marked the 10-year anniversary of Marcelo Lucero’s killing.

At the time, the story made national headlines, and police said the 37-year old Ecuadorian immigrant was assaulted in Patchogue by seven teens. Police say the teens considered attacking Hispanics a sport, known as "beaner hopping."

Listen to the True Crime Long Island podcast on the Patchogue 7 and Marcelo Lucero:

In the months that followed his death, civil rights advocates slammed the Suffolk County Police Department and claimed they failed to respond properly to ongoing attacks against undocumented Hispanic immigrants.

VIDEO: Interviews with SCPD officials on decade-old killing of Marcelo Lucero

The U.S. Justice Department got involved and began monitoring Suffolk police.

Today, Patchogue has a lot more bars and restaurants, bringing people to the area from other communities. However, many are asking what has changed for the people who live there, and what has changed for the Suffolk Police Department?

The U.S. Justice Department still conducts reviews every six months. In October, the department was found to be in "substantial compliance" in all of the major categories, although the DOJ found some supervisors and officers didn't understand the importance of Spanish language services.

Suffolk's Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart says in the last 10 years, the police force has become more diverse, with 256 sworn members of Hispanic descent, compared to 195 10 years ago.

Now, there are 166 Spanish-speaking officers, sergeants and detectives.

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