LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Stop the Violence comes together to fight crimes against Hispanics. In light of recent murders and robberies, the group is calling on the community for support.
Stop the Violence realizes that some people just don't trust police. Today's press conference was an effort for law enforcement to encourage the Hispanic community to come forward with information that could help solve cases.
Business owners along Baseline Road are accustomed to the growing Hispanic community. At Supermercado grocery store, owner Safi Masoud listens to their concerns.
"I get a lot of customers who tell me on a weekly basis being robbed and stuff like that," says Masoud.
Just behind Supermercado, suspects robbed owners of a tire shop Tuesday afternoon. They would not go on camera. And across the street, owners of Santa Maria grocery store say a man robbed them in December. They too are afraid of retaliation. Most recently on Saturday, two men robbed and killed a 26-year-old Hispanic man. Little Rock Police Captain Terry Hastings believes in many cases Hispanics are targets of crime.
"They may think they're here illegally so they're not going to report us doing this," says Capt. Hastings.
Captain Hastings was among many at the Stop Violence press conference, including Alejandro Macias, Consul for Protection Affairs with the Mexican consulate. They're trying to reassure the community, police will not deport them if they come forward.
"Please if you are here documented or undocumented feel free to collaborate," says Alejandro Macias.
Stop the Violence says if you are afraid to go to police, you can always confide in the Mexican Consulate or your church. But they wanted to reiterate that local police don't have jurisdiction to deport you.
Police say this is reminiscent of the Brandon Johnson case. He's the man convicted in 2010 of killing three people and robbing several others. The deputy prosecutor said today Johnson admitted in letters he targeted Hispanics.