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Police investigate the claims of a hate crime

On May 27, a teenage boy ran for his life. He ran and he ran until his lungs, plagued by asthma, finally gave up on their demand for oxygen. Racial slurs reportedly hurled still hung in the air from his pursuers, a mob of angry men. He would die in the hospital before the sun would set that day.

What happened? Hate crime investigators are reviewing the somewhat conflicting witness reports. One ex-cop initially told law enforcement that the boy was running from a group of angry men. In a later, recorded report, the witness stated a racial slur was shouted during the transgression. One of the boy's pursuers may have had a firearm and they allegedly initiated chase after an argument.

Now a family mourns. They likely struggle with a sudden loss of companionship, the loss of a loved one, ripped away unexpectedly and without warning, instigated allegedly by a mob of reportedly angry white and Hispanic men.

When you think of a wrongful death, this tragedy seems to embody the very meaning of the words. What happened? Why were these men pursuing this boy? Was this a hate crime?  Many questions are still unanswered but it wouldn't be surprising to see criminal and possibly civil charges filed against the instigators.

If you have lost a loved one unjustly and before their time, particularly if another's reckless behavior or actions caused the death, you do have recourse. A New York personal injury attorney may be able to review your case and bring on additional investigators to further determine causation.

Source:, "NYPD eyes death of black teen as possible hate crime," Shawn Cohen, Kenneth Garger, Yaron Steinbuch, June 3, 2016

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