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"Not in Our Town" -- Responding to Hate in Tampa Bay

It’s the sort of thing no one thinks could happen in their community – a group of teenagers beating a man to death, just because he’s Hispanic.

That’s what happened in 2008 in the town of Patchogue, New York. And now, Tampa Bay residents are asking how to prevent it from happening here.

The documentary “Not in Our Town: Light in the Darkness” chronicles how the Long Island village responded to the murder of Marcelo Lucero, an immigrant from Equador.

More than 50 people gathered Tuesday evening to watch the documentary and discuss discrimination in our region, led by the group Community Tampa Bay.

Fifteen-year-old Anna Gomez of Tampa says she hears anti-immigrant slurs every day. She says it’s not enough to react to a hate crime after it occurs.

“Of course, when somebody’s murdered, it’s human instinct to come together," she said.

"But are we equipped and are we working for this NOT to happen? Not to be ready if it does happen, but for this not to happen?”

The event is part of the Not in Our Town Inclusive Communities Initiative. WUSF is one of 12 public media partners to received grant funding for the project.

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