This time, no probe is necessary to determine whether race was a factor (maybe). It’s hard to know for sure, judging from a report by CBS New York:
A man allegedly went on a rampage in Union Square on Wednesday afternoon and left a complete stranger brain-dead in the process.
Police said that the attack may have been a hate crime.
May have been?
The victim, 62-year-old Jeffrey Babbitt, a retired train conductor, was walking through the park, minding his own business, when a black man loudly announced that “the next white person who walks by I’m going to [expletive].” That person was Jeffrey Babbitt.
A witness describes what happened next. “His fist went in and the man’s head bobbed and he hit the ground and you could hear his skull hitting the ground.”
“He stood there and hit two more people and asked for the police to come,” another eyewitness later told a news team.
The suspect, identified as 31-year-old Lashawn Marten, remained at the scene until police arrived. Because of his “alleged comments about targeting white people,” CBS reiterates, “the incident could result in hate crime charges in addition to felony assault charges.”
“Obviously our Hate Crimes Task Force is involved in aspects of that case,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is quoted as saying.
Babbitt was taken to Bellevue Hospital. Family and friends report that he is in a coma and has been declared brain-dead. One of the individuals who now keeps vigil by his hospital bedside is his 92-year-old mother, Hedda. She shared an apartment with her son, who was her primary caregiver.
As authorities look into this crime, they are urged to determine to what extent, if any, the constant drumbeat of racism sounded by the likes of Al Sharpton is a driver in actions like these.
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