Riverhead, N.Y., is restarting its anti-bias task force in order to address a string of violent robberies against Latinos in the town.
Since its inception in 2007, Riverhead's anti-bias task force has met no more than a few times. But town officials and advocates for minorities say the group plans a public meeting later this month in order to discuss what they call a pattern of assaults and robberies directed at Latinos.
Latino rights advocates are accusing the Suffolk County Police Department of mishandling an investigation into the death of a migrant laborer. While critics stop short of alleging a cover up, they are calling on the federal government to take over the investigation.
The complaint dates back to a 2010 attack against two migrant workers from Mastic. The men went on a drinking binge and, at some point, were viciously attacked by multiple people, who beat and sodomized them.
The number of hate crimes in New York State jumped 30% in 2012 compared to the year prior. That’s from a state report released Thursday that says most of the statewide increase is attributed to Suffolk County property crimes classified as hate crimes.