Man robbed at gunpoint believes Latinos are being targeted
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A man was forced to hand over his wallet in at his own home, according to Memphis Police Department.
The man said he is thankful to be alive after coming face to face with a gun pointed at him. He said he feels he and other Latino families are being targeted in Memphis.
"You move, I'll kill you," Matias Gonzalez said.
That's what Gonzalez heard Friday night from the man pointing a gun at him. He said he was in his backyard near Getwell Road and the man pulled up against the fence and put the weapon to his head.
"Don't move. Give me the money, your wallet," the man told Gonzalez.
The father of four handed over his wallet with $400 in cash before he said the suspect pushed him down.
He said other Latinos in his neighborhood have been victims of crimes and he's been robbed multiple times in the city.
"It's bad now. Memphis is too hard for Latinos," Gonzalez said.
He's not the only one saying Latinos are being targeted.
"A lot of the Latino population are targeted. Maybe criminals know that a lot of them carry cash," Program coordinator for Latino Memphis Josh Metcalf said.
Metcalf said various factors can make Latinos easy targets - such as a language barrier.
Plus, he said Latino victims sometimes don't step forward.
"They know that a lot of our community is afraid to communicate with law enforcement," Metcalf said.
That's why Latino Memphis is hosting a self-defense class next month with Spanish instruction to teach the community how to defend themselves and how to survive if attacked.
"It's important for them to know how to handle the situations," Metcalf said.
Still, Gonzalez said firearms are what he's most fearful of here.
"American guys have permits for the gun," he said.
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