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October 20, 2014 5:00 pm

Jewish Group Rips NYPD for Withholding Hate Crime Charges From Jewish Leader’s Assailant

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Pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrated outside of the Maccabi Tel Aviv-Brooklyn Nets basketball game on Oct. 7 in Barclays Center. Photo: Reporter.

The American Jewish Committee (AJC) released a statement on Monday slamming the New York City Police Department for not charging Shawn Schraeder with a hate crime after he was arrested on suspicion of beating Jewish leader Leonard Petlakh in Brooklyn earlier this month.

“We are gratified by the rapid response of the NYPD in investigating and arresting Shawn Schraeder for the vicious and unprovoked attack on Petlakh,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “However, we are surprised and disappointed that Schraeder has not yet been charged with committing a hate crime. Clearly, this violent assault has every indication of being just that.”

The assault occurred on Oct. 7 as Petlakh, executive director of the Kings Bay Y in Brooklyn, and others were leaving the Barclays Center following a basketball game between the Brooklyn Nets and Maccabi Tel Aviv. Schraeder was among several anti-Israel protesters who picketed outside the game.

Reportedly unprovoked, Schraeder, punched Petlakh in front of his two children, giving him a broken nose and facial lacerations that required stitches.

“Anti-Zionist activist viciously attacks Jewish leader at pro-Israel event, somehow isn’t charged with a hate crime,” the AJC tweeted further.

Schraeder, 25, was taken into custody in St. Louis, Miss. on Thursday, The Jewish Daily Forward reported. He was brought back to Brooklyn and is now awaiting arraignment. ABC News reported that Schraeder was not charged with a hate crime because authorities do not believe bias was a motive.

“I am thrilled that the New York Police department has taken this very seriously,” Petlakh said. “I relish the day that we will see these hatemongers in our courtroom. They absolutely have a constitutional right to express their hatred but once they cross the red line that’s where it ends.”

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