Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Coatesville Police Department continues to receive reports of black city residents robbing, assaulting and raping Hispanic immigrants
And, if the activity is not stopped, police say it could trigger the formation of violent Hispanic gangs as a type of cultural protection. With the city's black community, growing immigrant population - many of whom do not speak English - combined with the city's social issues, "It's not long before you have black-on-brown crime," said Police Chief William Matthews. "And we're seeing the beginning of that." Matthews said African Americans are targeting Hispanics who are vulnerable. The victims do not speak English and often do not report crimes to the police out of fear their immigration status will be questioned, he said. African Americans are responsible for robbing, assaulting and raping Hispanics, as well as invading their homes, Matthews said. "A segment of our community - the African American community - is preying on them," he said. If the issue is not dealt with soon, Matthews said, the city could face the worst crime it has ever seen when Hispanic victims or their relatives resort to forming notoriously violent gangs, like MS-13, to defend their community. "If we don't get our arms around this problem, organized gangs will fill the vacancies," Matthews said. "There is no violence that's happened in this city that can compare to the violence that could take its place." The Hispanic population has been steadily growing throughout the county for years. Most Hispanic immigrants in the county are from Mexico, experts say.