Things That Matter

Hate Crimes Towards Latinos Spiked in 2019; Overall Highest They’ve Been in a Decade

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

In April of 2019, Connie and Michelle Pineda moved into the quiet suburban neighborhood of Lake Forest in Louisville, Kentucky. At first, their lives were peaceful and uneventful. But soon, the family began to receive a barrage of mysterious harassment.

First, it was the odd chemical burns they found on their front lawn–marks that seemed man-made. Then, some neighborhood kids called the Pineda children a racial slur (the Pinedas are a mixed Latino-Filipino family).

Soon, Connie and Michelle Pineda were waking up to a bright orange swastika accompanied by the n-word spray painted on their driveway.

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

The Pinedas checked their security cameras and discovered the culprit: their neighbor, 52-year-old Suzanne Craft. The Pinedas reported Craft to the authorities, and she was charged with criminal mischief and sentenced to seven days in jail. But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing the harassment. A bag of bullets recently appeared on the Pinedas’ front lawn. It came with a note that read: Get out.

“They live in fear,” the Pinedas’ attorney Vanessa Cantley told The Washington Post. “They have five children and three of them are old enough to know exactly what’s happening. They won’t go out and play in the yard. They won’t go out to walk the neighborhood. They are basically prisoners in their own home. The whole family sleeps in the living room, where there are no windows, because they just don’t know what this woman is capable of.”

Photo: Michela Connie Pineda/Facebook

Unfortunately, stories like this are becoming more and more common in the United States.

The FBI released their annual report detailing hate crime statistics and the data showed that hate crimes have reached their highest level in more than a decade. The report also showed the highest amount of hate-motivated killing since the FBI began collected this type of data in the early 1990s.

According to the FBI report, there were 51 hate-motivated killings in 2019. Twenty-two of those murders were from the El Paso Shooting.

In August of 2019, a gunman open-fired on patrons at a Wal-Mart in El Paso, Texas. It was later discovered that the shooting was racially-motivated. Previous to his killing spree, the shooter wrote on Facebook that Mexicans were “invading” the United States.

Hate crimes against Latinos spiked to 527 in 2019, up from 485 in 2018. Many critics are attributing the rise in hate crimes to the divisive culture we live in–much of which is fueled by President Trump’s racist anti-Latino rhetoric. “When the president calls [Latinos] rapists and criminals, what do you think is gonna happen?” said one Twitter user in response to the news. “His words have meaning to a lot of people and their actions are harmful for our society.”

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A Racist White Woman Was Caught On Video Telling Black Neighbor To “Act White” Because It’s A White Neighborhood

Things That Matter

A Racist White Woman Was Caught On Video Telling Black Neighbor To “Act White” Because It’s A White Neighborhood

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Surprise, surprise! Another racist white woman ahs been caught on camera harassing her Black neighbors. This time the target was a Black family who had been neighbors of the alleged racist for more than ten years.

It seems that every week we see new videos going viral involving white peoples being racists. In some of these incidents, these individuals have threatened or called the police on Black Americans doing seemingly routine or nonthreatening activities.

Such actions from white Americans have received heightened national scrutiny, particularly in the wake of the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism demonstrations that have taken place across the country and around the world in the past several months. Demonstrators have called for an end to systemic racism in U.S. society, and in particular for major police reforms and changes to the justice system.

But none of that seemed to matter to this woman who wanted her Black neighbors to start acting white.

A White woman is going viral after threatening her Black neighbor and telling her to “act white.”

The Jones family, who have lived in California’s Discovery Bay neighborhood for more than ten years, captured their neighbor asking, “Why don’t you act like a white person in a white neighborhood?”

According to the family, who spoke with local media, they haven’t previously had any problems with white neighbors. But that changed when a white neighbor confronted them on Monday, in an incident that was captured on video.

Gerritt Jones and his family have lived in the Bay Area neighborhood for 12 years and say they’ve never had any issues involving the woman they identify as Adana Dean, who lives across the street from them.

In surveillance video and cell phone video provided to ABC7 News by the Jones family, you can hear Adana say “You know what? You guys are acting like Black people and you should act like white people.”

She goes on to say in another clip “You’re a Black person in a white neighborhood and you’re acting like one why don’t you act like a white person in a white neighborhood?”

“Unfortunately that’s the reality of being black in America,” says Gerritt.

The incident made headlines and got the attention of the country sheriff.

Adana had threatened the family with her racist words but was also holding a stun gun when she confronted the family. As a result, the Contra Costa County Sheriff did respond to the incident and spoke to both parties, although no charges were filed.

“The Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff takes these types of acts seriously. Deputy sheriffs responded to the home yesterday and contacted both parties involved,” Jimmy Lee, director of public affairs at the sheriff’s office, said in a statement.

Although deputies determined that no crime had been committed, a report was taken to document the interaction between the two neighbors, as the original complaint was in reference to a neighbor dispute due to an off-leash dog,” Lee said.

Unfortunately, incidents like this one are far too common across the country.

“It don’t matter if you grew up in a gated community your whole life,” Gerritt Jones, another family member, told KNTV. “It’s bound to happen. It’s going to happen. And as African Americans, unfortunately, we have to prepare our children on how to deal with this.”

“It was just very angering to see that come to our front door,” Jariell Jones, another family member added. She said her family has always gone out of their way to “be extra nice, say ‘yes, ma’am, yes, sir,’ which I feel is sick that we even have to feel that way.”

Jones added, “But even though we were trying to be good Black people in their good white neighborhood, they still treated us this way.”

However, the incident has empowered the family to be who they are. “We’re going to act Black in our white neighborhood,” Jones added.

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

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A Black Student From Louisiana State Accused Three Police Offers Of Unzipping His Pants To ‘Look’ For Drugs

Anadolu Agency / Getty

Abuse of power by police is alive and well in Baton Rouge and in urgent need of being stopped.

Three police officers from the Louisiana capital have been put on paid administrative leave after accusations of harassment were issued by a local Black college football freshman. According to the student, Koy Moore a freshman who plays a wide receiver at Louisiana State University, the three police officers unzipped his pants and confiscated his phone to prevent him from recording the incident.

In a post shared to Twitter on Saturday, Moore claimed that the officers “violated” him in an attempt to search him for drugs and weapons while screaming “Where’s your gun?”

Koy Moore claims that he was violated by three Baton Rouge police officers.

“I was violated numerous times even going as far as trying to unzip my pants in search of a weapon that I repeatedly told them I did not have,” Moore wrote in the post. “As I tried to go live for video documentation of the harassment, they snatched my phone. I could have lost my life, and I know for a fact nothing would’ve happened to the guys who did it.” 

In his post, More questioned what could have actually happened to him if he hadn’t told the officers that he was a student at LSU.

In response to his tweet, LSU faculty and staff have supported him. Ed Orgeron, LSU’s football coach even commented on the incident in a post to Twitter.“While I cannot comment on the investigation, what I can say is that we must work collectively to embrace our differences,” Orgeron he wrote. “We have to listen, learn, and come together to combat social injustice and racism if we are to create a safer and more equitable society for all.”

The official LSU Twitter account retweeted the coach’s post writing that they shared in “the sentiment shared by Coach Ed Orgeron.”

The three officers, who have been placed on paid leave, have yet to be identified to the public. Still, Chief Murphy Paul of the Baton Rouge Police Department said his department had been in contact with Moore and that an investigation is currently underway.

“We appreciate Mr. Moore bringing this incident to our attention,” Paul said in a statement. “As in every case, we will be collecting all available evidence and conducting interviews. Accountability and transparency are critical in building trust with the community. I pledge a thorough investigation into this complaint.”

The incident in Baton Rouge underlines that major issue in modern American politics. 

During the summer, after Breonna Taylor and George Floyd were murdered by police, Baton Rouge took part in the nationwide protests.

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