Graffiti marred church in Compton

COMPTON, CA – JANUARY 25, 2013: Graffiti marred steeple on the Greater Holy Faith Baptist Church on 155th Street in Compton on JANUARY 25, 2013. Members of 155th Street Gang have been arrested for hate crimes in the neighborhood. Neighbors say the black ministers don’t live in the area and go to the church only on Sundays. ( Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times )

*It’s kind of surreal to know that Blacks in Compton of all places are being hated on and terrorized by Latinos.

Well, not by all Latinos, but by Latino gang bangers. Two of them pleaded guilty Thursday to federal hate crime charges stemming from racially motivated attacks on four black youngsters as part of a campaign of terror aimed at forcing African Americans out of west Compton.

The guilty pleas from Jeffrey “Turkey” Aguilar, 20, and Efren “Looney” Marquez, 22,  mark the first convictions in the Los Angeles region under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, reports the LA Times.

Prosecutors say the men beat a black teenager on New Year’s Eve with a metal pipe and threatened a second juvenile with a gun. Aguilar, Marquez and other Compton 155 gang members then turned their threats and racial epithets toward members of a black household where the teenager had fled.

Under questioning from U.S. District Judge Terry J. Hatter Jr. on Thursday, Aguilar pleaded guilty to using the metal pipe against the teenager because of his race and acknowledged being a member of Compton Varrio 155.

“I assaulted him … caused him bodily injury,” Aguilar said.

Marquez pleaded guilty to threatening to shoot the second black juvenile because of his race and driving the assailants.

“I threatened the person by telling them I was going to shoot,” Marquez told the judge, adding he “never had a weapon.”

But Hatter, who is also black, pointed out the threat alone was the crime.

You can read/learn MORE at LA Times.