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HomeGeneralNYPD Investigates Hate Crime As Unidentified Woman Pepper-Sprays 15-Year-Old Muslim Girl in...

NYPD Investigates Hate Crime As Unidentified Woman Pepper-Sprays 15-Year-Old Muslim Girl in Brooklyn

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New York City police are actively seeking a woman suspected of spraying pepper spray in the face of a Muslim teenager. The incident occurred following Islamophobic remarks made by the assailant.

On the afternoon of December 19, a 15-year-old girl was attacked while walking down a street in Bensonhurst, a residential neighborhood in south Brooklyn. According to the police, the girl was approached by an unidentified woman who proceeded to make “anti-ethnic remarks to the victim, then pepper sprayed the victim in the face.”

Believed to be in her 40s, the woman fled the scene on foot, as reported in an unsigned email from an NYPD spokesperson. Despite the incident, the teenager declined medical attention at the scene.

A photo released by the police department depicts the woman wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans and carrying a blue backpack. The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is actively investigating the incident.

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ALSO READ: The Department of Education Is Investigating 6 More Schools For Anti-Muslim Discrimination as The Israel-Hamas War Continues

The New York Council on American-Islamic Relations chapter released a statement on Wednesday. They called for hate crime charges to be brought against the suspect in the case.

“We condemn this alleged attack and call on law enforcement authorities and public officials to do whatever they can to protect minority communities targeted by hate,” stated CAIR-NY Executive Director Afaf Nasher in an official statement.

Citing WPIX, CAIR-NY reported that, according to the television news station, the woman called the teenager a “terrorist” before pepper-spraying her. However, the police have not provided specific details regarding the remarks the woman is accused of making.

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Hate crimes against Muslim Americans have become a significant concern for law enforcement at various levels since the Israel-Hamas war began in October. In early December, CAIR reported receiving 2,171 complaints of anti-Muslim and anti-Palestinian hate over the last two months. This was a 172% increase over the same period the previous year.

Users expressed divergent views in their comments. One argued that “the only hate here is the hate USA Today is trying to create.” Another questioned the intrusion into someone’s religious affiliations, stating, “WHO CARES!!! TO EACH HIS OWN PEOPLE!”

ALSO READ: Florida High School Expels Palestinian Student Over Mother’s Hateful Posts

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Another comment criticized the behavior: “It’s too bad that grown-ups who still live at home with their parents don’t behave better.” On the topic of hate crimes, one user asserted, “There is no such thing as a ‘hate crime.'” 

In response, another user emphasized the correlation between hateful slurs and assaults against specific groups, stating, “One doesn’t have to be psychic or a genius to understand the correlation between making hateful slurs against a specific group and concurrently assaulting a person perceived to be part of that group. It’s not rocket science.”

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