Suffolk County Police Department to make significant changes in outreach to Latino community after federal probe
Many Latinos and their advocates applauded the announcement by the Suffolk Police Department that it will make significant changes in how it deals with Latino communities in the county.
The announcement stems from a deal to settle a Justice Department investigation into how the SCPD handled the case of an immigrant who was stabbed to death in Patchogue.
The killing of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero by a group of teenagers in Patchogue in 2008 sparked an investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into allegations of discriminatory policing by the SCPD. The federal probe focused on complaints that Suffolk police discouraged Latino victims from filing complaints and failed to investigate crimes and hate crime incidents involving Latinos.
As a result of the 4-year-long investigation, Suffolk police have agreed to a wide range of reforms including enhanced training for officers, enhanced investigations into allegations of hate crimes, improving police services for individuals with limited English proficiency and strengthening police outreach efforts in Latino communities.
The Justice Department says it will monitor the Suffolk Police Department's compliance of the agreement.