Hispanics Targeted in Deadly Attacks

Weijia Jiang, WJZ-TV (Baltimore), August 23, 2010

One teen is under arrest and another one is on the loose, after hate crimes are committed against Hispanics in Baltimore City.

The suspect in the latest case is at Central Booking and he will have a bail review. Jermaine Holley is charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime.

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A recent string of brutal attacks near Patterson Park share at least one thing in common, the victims are all Hispanic men, putting community members on high alert.

Early Saturday morning, police found the body of 51-year-old Martin Reyez in the 200-block of Kenwood Avenue. He was beaten to death with a wooden plank.

Police say 19-year-old Jermaine Holley confessed to the murder, and stated in an interview he has a hatred of Hispanics.

“This is the latest in several incidents we believe may be targeting Hispanic victims,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police.

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Last week, a young teenager robbed two Hispanic men in the 100-block of North Linwood Avenue before shooting both of them.

“They get approached by an African-American female, who was described as 13 to 15-years-old. This female pulls out a handgun and announces a handgun. Now, because of her age, the victims didn’t think she was serious. So they didn’t take her seriously, and she made them take her seriously, because she shot both of them,” said Major Davis, Southeast Police District.

Hispanic community leader Maurcia Peralta said the problem goes beyond the bloodshed. He said there’s a cultural gap that has residents scared to report crimes and admits many of his friends are scared of being deported.

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Spanish speaking officers are going door-to-door to explain they do not look for immigration papers when responding to crimes.

“Hispanic are the perfect victims they can get robbed they can get hurt and they know that they won’t be reported, so it’s like a free ride,” said Barreiro, Baltimore Hispanic Ch of Commerce. {snip}

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