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Remembering Joseph Ileto, 20 years after being gunned down in a hate crime

20 years ago tomorrow, a White supremacist who had gone on a rampage to kill Jews gunned down a postal worker delivering the mail.

Joseph Ileto died after being shot nine times moments after agreeing to deliver a letter for the man who killed him. Buford O’Neal Furrow, Jr. started the day opening fire with a semi-automatic weapon in the lobby of the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center. He fired 70 times, injuring five people including three boys, ages 5 & 6.

He would escape the scene and eventually come upon Ileto, a Filipino American who Furrow admitted killing because he thought he was either Latino or Asian.

Furrow is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors agreed not to pursue the death penalty in exchange for the guilty plea.

Edren T. Sumagaysay wrote this poem for Ileto to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.

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