21-year-old Efren Marquez and 19-year-old Jeffrey Aguilar have been arrested for terrorizing a black family in their neighborhood.
The two reportedly beat one of the family members with a pipe, drove by their house yelling racial epithets on a daily basis, and had a group of 15-20 gang members surround the house and demand that the family leave the neighborhood.
Fearing for their lives, the family moved out of the home.
The group reportedly continued to drive by the house daily, yelling slurs at the family until they eventually moved out, even though they had just moved to the residence on New Year’s. And according to Lt. Richard Westin, the gang is known for their racist hate crimes, “This gang has always made it clear they have a racial hatred for Black people. They repeatedly used racial epithets, they use racial hatred graffiti and they tag up the black church a lot.”
Sheriff Capt. Mike Parker added that the victims are your “typical American family” and that the incident is “unsettling at the very least.”
Since the alleged incident, Marquez and Aguilar have been charged with a hate crime committed for the purpose of violation of civil rights with ability to commit violent injury on another.
Since the incident, black and Latino community leaders have come together to call for peace and understanding between the black and brown communities of Los Angeles.
“It sends a strong message to the community … that we are not going to tolerate it. It’s going to stop or we are going to take action against that,” said Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable.
Some leaders, like Rev. KW Tulloss, drew parallels between the struggles of blacks and Latinos and urged residents to find common ground.
“We have more in common than we do apart,” he said. “These incidents that have happened are not reflective of this beautiful city of Compton.”
Thoughts on this family’s harrowing ordeal?
Are you hopeful that the community can come together and move beyond this incident?
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