The U.S. Department of Justice wants the Suffolk County Police Department to strengthen its efforts to avoid hate crimes like the one that ended in the 2008 killing of immigrant Marcelo Lucero.

In a letter released Wednesday, the department faulted the Long Island police department's procedures and pointed to warning signs that preceded Lucero’s murder.   

The department is urging Suffolk County to revamp of practices that it says have hurt relations with Hispanics.

Newsday reports that federal authorities are continuing their investigation into whether Suffolk police have violated constitutional or civil rights of Hispanics.

County Executive Steve Levy said some of the recommendations are constructive but he disagrees with others.

Advocates for Hispanic immigrants said the report confirmed Suffolk's shortcomings.

Luis Valenzuela of the Long Island Immigrant Alliance said the said the climate in the county is anti-immigrant.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press

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