Franklin, WI: Forward Latino, a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy and service organization with  members in 29 states issued the following statement following the conviction of Clifton Blackwell on first-degree and hate crime charges for his attack on a Hispanic American citizen with acid. 

Forward Latino National President Darryl Morin issued the following statement: 

“Today we thank the Jury, the District Attorney’s office, and the Milwaukee Police Department for their combined efforts in bringing this individual to justice on charges of first-degree reckless  injury. We also acknowledge the District Attorney’s office for not only prosecuting the crime,  but successfully prosecuting the hate crime charge as well. It is important to distinguish crimes  that are motivated by hate as these truly represent attacks on our humanity. 

Throughout this entire ordeal, Mr. Villalaz has demonstrated great character and courage. Not  only did he report the attack to law enforcement, but he was willing to share his story publicly.  The overwhelming number of hate crime victims never report their attacks out of fear of  reprisal, allowing their attackers to continue their intimidation and assaults. In 2020 alone,  there were 11,129 reported hate crimes in the United States, according to the U.S. Department  of Justice. 

In a country the proclaims to defend individual freedoms and liberty, whose founding principal  is one of equality and inalienable rights, we can and must do better. 

We encourage everyone who may have been a victim of or witnessed a potential hate crime to  contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately at (800)CALL-FBI.” 

About Forward Latino: 

Forward Latino is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy and service organization dedicated to assisting  Latinos pursuing the American Dream. Forward Latino fulfills its mission through advocacy, civic  engagement, education, and service delivery 

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