“Hispanics are often the target of violent crime because they don’t know the language, don’t understand the legal system, and are afraid to file police reports. But that’s beginning to change. I could tell so many stories, but this one will illustrate the point: A man who was recently robbed and shot in an apartment complex was afraid to report the attack, but his neighbor I had been communicating with called me. I met with the man and his family and told them, ‘You need to contact the police. If this happened to you, it could happen to someone else. We need to work together on this. I’ll guide you through it.’ He filed the report, and with the help of a bilingual staff member in the DA’s office, he was finally convinced to follow the case through the court system. His attacker was convicted and is now serving a lengthy sentence. It turned out that he had also killed another Hispanic person. So because this one victim was willing to work with us, a criminal is off the streets. We want Hispanic community members to feel comfortable interacting with the police and with city government. We want to build that kind of trust. We have a long way to go, but we’re making progress.”
For information helpful to the entire Hispanic community in Memphis, Valentina encourages readers to visit the FB page La Voz de la Communidad (The Voice of the Community). The group also welcomes messages or questions.
125 N. Main, Suite 438