State Watch

NYPD officer who allegedly used anti-Muslim slurs during assault charged with hate crime, officials say

A New York City police officer has been charged with assault as a hate crime, menacing as a hate crime and aggravated harassment after allegedly using anti-Muslim slurs and assaulting a man following a traffic altercation while off-duty. 

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a press release on Monday that Riggs Kwong, 50, allegedly videotaped himself calling the victim a “terrorist,” “Mr. Mohammed” and other slurs.

Kwong allegedly told the victim, “I’m trying to make a left here on the service road and this terrorist is terrorizing me. You’re upset because I didn’t let you make a U-turn, Mr. Mohammed … Al Qaeda, Terrorist, ISIS …”

According to the release from the DA’s office, the incident began after Kwong blocked the vehicle of a 32-year-old man who was driving a Toyota Rav 4.

Allegedly, the victim followed Kwong’s vehicle, a Honda Accord, and cut him off, leading to the off-duty officer becoming angry and using racial slurs against the victim.

The victim then allegedly got out of his vehicle and slapped the hood of Kwong’s car.

After that, the release says that allegedly Kwong and the victim spat in each other’s faces and then Kwong punched the victim several times, “causing him to fall to the ground” where Kwong “continued to punch him and use anti-Muslim language.”

Kwong allegedly continued to strike the victim until he lost consciousness. 

District Attorney Gonzalez said in a statement, “This defendant is charged with brutally assaulting a man until he lost consciousness while using anti-Muslim slurs following a traffic altercation.”

“We have no tolerance for hate-motivated violence in Brooklyn, and the alleged conduct is especially reprehensible because the defendant is a law enforcement officer,” Gonzalez continued. “The prosecution of hate crimes is a priority for my office, and we will vigorously seek accountability and justice in this case.”

Kwong also allegedly called 911, stating that he was an off-duty officer, and said that the victim threw the first punch and that he then punched the victim back. He allegedly said the same thing to officers who arrived at the scene, per the release.

However, the DA’s office noted that “video surveillance allegedly shows the defendant punching the victim without the victim ever punching the defendant.”

Kwong was released without bail and ordered to return to court on March 22.

Tags anti-Muslim Assault Hate crime New York New York City New York Police Department NYPD
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