In the immediate aftermath of the hate crime killing of Marcelo Lucero, our church hosted an opportunity for alleged hate crime victims who did not feel safe going to the Suffolk County Police Department to come to the church to tell their story. The atmosphere was fraught with tension, anger, fear and even hatred, some against me for “fanning the flames of a non-story”. But the police were invited and present that night, as was the Mayor, Department of Justice and many others. We did the hard work of staying the course despite immense anguish and contorted feelings. Using a funeral to make a political statement is repugnant. And it does nothing to contribute to healing that out city, state and nation need. For further information, google: Rev. Dwight Lee Wolter, Congregational Church of Patchogue, Marcelo Lucero.

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