Roosevelt community divided over alleged hate crime

Dueling rallies erupted outside Midway Deli in Roosevelt Saturday, where an African-American man was allegedly beaten by four Hispanic men last weekend. Hispanics who gathered at the rally called for

News 12 Staff

Mar 16, 2009, 1:17 PM

Updated 5,598 days ago

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Dueling rallies erupted outside Midway Deli in Roosevelt Saturday, where an African-American man was allegedly beaten by four Hispanic men last weekend.
Hispanics who gathered at the rally called for unity, characterizing the attack on Darryl Jackson as an isolated fight that spiraled out of control.
"This is not a hate crime," says Fernando Mateo, of Hispanics Across America. "Hispanics don't hate people of color, because we are people of color."
African-American protesters, however, demanded justice.
"They called him the 'N' word," says Michael Greys, of One Hundred Black Men in Law Enforcement. "While they [were] beating him, [they] told him to go back to Africa. That is bias."
Nassau officials say it appears the men attacked Jackson because he was panhandling, not because of the color of his skin. Therefore under state law, it cannot be classified as a hate crime.
Both sides agree that the state's hate crime law needs to be strengthened. Jackson's son, Darryl Jackson Jr., hopes his father and the divided community will eventually heal.
"I don't hate Hispanic people," Jackson's son says. "I just want those held accountable that were involved."
The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives says a town hall meeting on hate crimes will be held Thursday at the Tabernacle of Joy in Uniondale at 7 p.m.


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