FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2008
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SPEAKS ABOUT THE DEATH OF ECUADORIAN IMMIGRANT JOSÉ SUCUZHAÑAY
Following is an excerpt from Mayor Bloomberg’s remarks to worshippers in Sunday Services at the Christian Cultural Center in Canarsie this morning. The Mayor also made similar remarks about Mr. Sucuzhañay at the First Central Baptist Church in Stapleton, Staten Island
"We are going to have a great future in this city, and we are going to have some tough times, but I did want to talk about something different today. I wanted to say something that came out of my visits to the city's houses of worship - a strong reminder of New York's incredible diversity. And different religious groups, immigrant groups, people of every race, creed and color live and worship together in this city in an atmosphere of tolerance that we see every single day.
"Race relations in this city are a lot better than they have been in many, many decades. Having said that, unfortunately, this atmosphere is occasionally shattered by dangerous acts of bigotry that undermine our fight to live in peace and security - and that's something I wanted to talk to you about. That's what happened last Sunday, a week ago, when two brothers from Ecuador, who were walking home in Bushwick, were attacked in what may have been a hate crime. One of the brothers, I'm sad to say, was left brain dead from his injuries and he has since died.
"It was a pointless and gutless crime. I went to Elmhurst Hospital on Thursday to meet with their family and pledged to do everything I could in my power to find and to prosecute the despicable people who carried out this act. Our city, our administration, and you and I together have absolutely no tolerance for any kind of hate crime.
"And I believe in this city there is no such thing as a second-class citizen. Whether you're native-born or you settled here from abroad, you're a New Yorker first and foremost."
Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine (212) 788-2958