Muslim woman accuses NYPD of abandoning alleged hate crime

Muslim woman accuses NYPD of abandoning alleged hate crime
© Getty Images

A black Muslim woman who says she was robbed and physically assaulted by men who shouted racist slurs at her is accusing New York police of failing to investigate her case thoroughly until she provided her own evidence of the crime.

Fatoumata Camara told HuffPost in an interview published Tuesday that investigators told her that a lack of evidence had forced them to close their investigation into the alleged attack last month, prompting Camara to launch her own investigation and return to the NYPD with video evidence of the attack.

ADVERTISEMENT

Camara, a resident of the Bronx, said that the NYPD responded by reopening the hate crime investigation. The attack, which she said occurred May 10, resulted in Camara being hospitalized briefly with a broken nose and a head injury.

During the attack, the men reportedly called her a “dumb, black bitch" among other racist and sexist insults. They also mocked her hijab, according to Camara, calling it a "stupid" headscarf.

An NYPD official told HuffPost that the investigation into Camara's attack “is active and ongoing," while the district attorney's office reportedly disputed Camara's claim that the investigation was ever closed.

In a statement to The Hill, a spokesperson for the deputy commissioner of public information confirmed that the NYPD had been made aware of new evidence in the case, but would not say whether the investigation had been closed or reopened.

"The NYPD takes hate crime very seriously, and there is no place for hate or intolerance in New York City, or anywhere. This investigation is ongoing," the spokesperson told The Hill in an emailed statement, adding: "The case has been investigated as a robbery based on the evidence initially available. As a result of new information, which detectives were not aware of previously, investigators are now conferring with the NYPD Hate Crime Task Force."

"The NYPD encourages anyone who feels they are a victim of a bias crime to report the incident to police immediately," added the spokesperson.

“It was unfair for me. I’m the victim of this whole situation,” said Camara, 22. “For them to just drop my case like that because I couldn’t identify these people through photos, I was very upset.”

Her attorney, Ahmed Mohamed, told HuffPost in a statement that the NYPD's treatment of his client was shameful.

“We have such a clear case of not only a crime being committed, but of a hate crime taking place,” he reportedly said. “There’s clear evidence. Our client not only provided some of this evidence to the detectives, district attorney, but instead of investigating and doing their jobs, the NYPD, the district attorney, decided our client’s life just didn’t matter enough for them to take it seriously.”

This article was updated at 7:15 p.m. on 6/12 to include a new statement from the NYPD.