Running Wild shows what happened in Patchogue, Long Island after seven teenagers from the local high school were accused last year in the murder of Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero. The murder shed light on a horrifying fact: for at least a year before, teenagers at the school hunted Latinos for sport.
This film looks at the aftermath of the murder and its effect on the Patchogue-Medford area. Four high school students try to understand why their classmates and friends committed this atrocity. And through the eyes of one student, Angelica Colon, and her Latino-advocate father, Francisco Hernandez, we see an entire community turn to chaos in the wake of the murder — fingers pointed in every direction to try to explain what happened.
Suffolk County Legislator for District 7 Jack Eddington (D, I) was one person who bore the brunt of the blame. Criticized for proposing “anti-Latino” legislation, Leg. Eddington was called a racist after the murder. His policies and those of other politicians, such as Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, were criticized for stoking hatred against immigrants.
After a contentious community meeting, Leg. Eddington asked Francisco Hernandez to meet with him. Together, they came up with a plan to try to tackle one problem seriously affecting the immigrant community: the fear of being harassed by police when playing soccer on city fields. Running Wild – Hate and Immigration on Long Island follows Leg. Eddington and Hernandez’s efforts to organize a wounded community around a common goal – a county-sponsored soccer tournament – and tracks the difficulties, failures and successes of taking on a national problem one small step at a time.
Running Wild: Hate and Immigration was reported, shot, edited and written by Tamara Bock and Angel Canales as their master’s project at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.