Muslim Woman Investigated Her Own Hate Crime After Accusing NYPD Of Abandoning Her Case

June 12, 2019  |  

"Police Line - Do Not Cross" NYPD fence in the streets of New York City, USA

Source: Busà Photography / Getty

Fatoumata Camara, 22, was waiting near a BX35 bus stop in the Bronx on May 10 when a group of 10 to 12 young people physically attacked her while hurling racist, vile insults.

Camara was thrown to the ground, suffered a broken nose and over $500 worth of her belongings including a recent award she received at her college graduation, her insurance card and her passport, were stolen from her person. She says the men threw sunflower seeds at her, called her a a “dumb, black bitch” and mocked her hijab, calling it a “stupid” headscarf, according to HuffPost. As a result of her injuries she was hospitalized and left with over $4,000 in medical expenses.

Now she is seeking justice, accusing the New York Police Department and the Bronx District Attorney’s Office of failing to lead a proper investigation into her attack. Camara, a recent graduate from the New York City College of Technology with a degree in engineering, said she was forced to work overtime to recover the surveillance tape from a local business near the crime scene.

“I told myself I wasn’t going to be one of those cases that got abandoned,” Camara told HuffPost. “I was going to get justice for what happened to me that night.”

Camara said she was told by a NYPD official that there was not enough evidence to investigate the case.

“It was unfair for me. I’m the victim of this whole situation,” said Camara. “For them to just drop my case like that because I couldn’t identify these people through photos, I was very upset.”  Camara said she felt she needed to check in regarding her case everyday because she felt the department showed a lack of interest and persistence.

“I had to run after them every day just to get answers from them,” she said. “It shows they don’t care. I have the right to be protected in this country.”

According to ABC New York who reached out to the District Attorney’s office, a group of suspects were questioned, however an individual who videotaped the incident with their phone did not want to be named as a witness.

“The victim eventually viewed photos but was unable to identify anyone. Police closed the case,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

This week due to her recovery of the video, the NYPD has reopened the investigation under the Hate Crime Task Unit.
“The investigation is ongoing. Based upon new information presented by the victim, that detectives previously were not made aware of, the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is evaluating the case to determine whether or not this is a bias incident,” said the spokesperson,” a NYPD spokesperson said in a statement to The Hill.

Camara said that the incident has undoubtedly caused trauma and anxiety.

“I’m scared to go out by myself now. Because of this incident, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me,” said Camara. “I just hope this doesn’t happen to somebody else from my community.”

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