2008_11_nmhate.jpgA grand jury indicted the seven teens accused of killing an immigrant in Patchogue. All face charges of gang assault as a hate crime--the teens were allegedly targeting Hispanics-- while one was also indicted on charges of manslaughter as a hate crime for fatally stabbing Marcelo Lucero. Last night, over a 1,000 people held a vigil to honor Lucero--and speak out about racism. According to Newsday, Stony Brook University's director of the Social Justice Center Ruth Brandwein said, "This is an unfortunate, terrible tragedy of racism and bigotry that has some roots here. It's time we in Suffolk acknowledge it and move on," while one El Salvadoran immigrant said Nassau County was more tolerant. Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, whose hardline immigration policies prompted two recent editorials in the NY Times and Newsday, called the seven teens "white supremacists." One of the teens, Jose Pacheco, is Hispanic; his lawyer said, "Jose is distraught that some people think he committed a crime against another Hispanic."