After a number of hate crime incidents in Staten Island that seemingly target Mexican immigrants, the NYPD flooded Port Richmond with officers last week (but another immigrant was attacked over the weekend!) Now it's been announced that the FBI and NYPD created a joint hate crimes task force, which is asking for the public's help. But the tense situation is also putting children on edge.
The NY Times looked at how young Staten Island residents are dealing with the violence. A 17-year-old who is part Puerto Rican said, "It used to be nice. Now kids are getting scared. They can’t walk down the street now," while an 11 year-old said, "It’s a war between Mexicans and blacks. When the cops leave, it’s going to start again." The Times also reports, "At school, social tensions are rarely felt among the youngest children but appear to worsen in the upper grades — and become increasingly complicated. High school students spoke of black classmates who disparaged other blacks from poorer backgrounds, and Mexican-Americans born in the United States who talked condescendingly about peers born in Mexico."
One teen who is an anti-violence group suggested boredom—and money—was partly to blame, "There is no money, there is no funding, there are no after-school activities, there are no camps. People have nothing to do."