Controversy as NYPD Says That Attack on Brooklyn Hasidic Man Wasn’t Hate Crime
New York City police on Friday were investigating an attack on a Hasidic Jewish man in Brooklyn — but as an attempted robbery, rather than the hate crime some members of the community believe it was.
Surveillance video showed two suspects approaching the man from behind around 10:40 p.m. on Thursday on Barlett Street in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn.
We are sickened by the brutal and unprovoked attack on an Orthodox man in Brooklyn in broad daylight.
We extend our best wishes to the victim and call for the swift apprehension of the perpetrators.pic.twitter.com/bZgbDsrRW0
— American Jewish Committee (@AJCGlobal) October 16, 2020
The suspects chased him, beat him and unsuccessfully tried to steal his bag, injuring the victim’s face. The man managed to hold on to his belongings and the suspects fled the scene empty-handed.
Two eyewitnesses who spoke to CBS News expressed the view that the attack was sparked by antisemitic hatred, with one of them adding that robbery might have been an additional motive, because “from what I know, this place is not the best.”
Separately, ABC News reported that the vocal community activist and former NY State Assemblyman Dov Hikind had called the attack a hate crime, noting as well that the police had said this was not the case.
Police said the suspects in the attack were in their 20s and were last seen wearing dark jackets, black jeans and white sneakers.