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Basketball players say assault outside college was hate crime


Black players on the Manhattan Community College basketball team said Tuesday that an unprovoked attack by a gang of white men near the school should be handled as a hate crime.

The group is calling on Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and other officials to upgrade the charges brought against three suspects from assault to a serious hate crime, according to Bonita Zelman, an attorney representing the players.

The group also wants a review of the investigation, because they say more than eight people were involved in the attack, and only three were arrested.

“This was a hate crime,” Zelman said.

A news conference was scheduled for Wednesday to release further details of the attack. A police spokesman declined to comment on the charges saying that any response will have to come after the details of the press conference were released.

Team members and their coach were confronted by a gang of white males who punched, stomped and kicked them as they walked from practice near the college last September, according to Zelman. “They hurled racial slurs at them, screaming the N word,” she said.

– Associated Press

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