Sunday’s brutal beat down of a Black man by four Hispanics was not a hate crime, claims a Latino advocacy group.
On Wednesday, members of the group, Hispanics Across America, rallied in front of the New York deli where, according to police, a group of Hispanics beat up 52-year-old Darryl Jackson while yelling racial slurs, reports Newsday.
But the public is just getting half of the story, the group’s president, Fernando Mateo said. He says the attack wasn’t motivated by race at all, and that Jackson was actually the one who threw the first punch.
One of the store workers came out and asked Jackson, who was standing in front of the deli, to stop panhandling in front of the store because it was disturbing customers, he says. That’s when, according to this account, Jackson became angry and hit the worker’s son.
Jackson claimed that he was standing in front of the store trying to use the pay phone and was attacked by the men when he wouldn’t move.
“It’s a shame that we have four people in jail for no reason whatsoever. But a trial will let the truth come out,” Mateo said.
Furthermore, he says the hate crime label is just an effort to turn Blacks and Latinos against each other.
The Hispanic-owned deli was recently able to collect 200 signatures from its Black customers in support of the establishment and its employees. One local Black customer, Faye Deas, says the deli employees treat Blacks fairly, and she wouldn’t be surprised if Jackson was indeed the one who sparked the whole incident. “I know Daryl,” she said. “He’s always fighting.”