Updated: 06/08/2014 7:29 PM
Created: 06/07/2014 9:14 PM WHEC.com
The Democrat and Chronicle will have a special report on Sunday about an issue that could be headed toward a boiling point. It’s part of the ongoing campaign called “Unite Rochester,” and the goal is to get people to talk about race.
In Sunday’s edition, Reporter Jon Hand looks at a group of Bhutanese refugees living in northwest Rochester. A group of peaceful people who are increasingly becoming targets of crime.
Jon Hand says the refugees from Nepal and Bhutan are seen as easy marks. He found out about the crimes after an advocate complained on Facebook.
Hand says the refugees don’t fight back. They don’t report the crimes to the police, and the criminals know it.
“They will boldly walk into people’s houses. We interviewed families who were home during the day, and someone came into their house and took their TV and walked out with it. They feel very helpless,” said Hand, “They don’t necessarily trust the police in some cases because of their homeland. People who wore uniforms weren’t always the people who came to help you. Sometimes it was an oppressor of yours.”
Hand says a couple of years ago some younger refugees started to collect knives and machetes to arm themselves.
“One group is looking at another group as easy targets for crime. That group is becoming increasingly frustrated and is ready to fight back. Now maybe there is an opportunity. This could be a time to work out some solutions to make this happen so they don’t go to some street level war,” he said.
Hand says Rochester police were not fully aware because no one was reporting the crimes.
Hand wants readers to understand that the refugees are peaceful people, and this is a form of bullying, something the entire community needs to stand up against.
Hand’s special report will be in the Sunday addition of the Democrat and Chronicle.