The Staten Island Advance Web site is reporting that a black Muslim teenager was beaten and hit with a baseball bat by a carload of white men on the night the country elected its first black president, Barack Obama.
Ali Kamara, 17, says his attackers shouted “Obama” before the assault. The Curtis High School student and Liberian immigrant said he was about a block away from his Pine Place home when the car full of white men pulled over and yelled the president-elect’s name.
Kamara didn’t respond, and said he was then jumped. The teen suffered head wounds that had to be stapled closed by doctors. Police confirmed that the alleged assault is being treated as a hate crime, the Web site reported.
It is the only act of violence directly associated with Obama’s election reported in the city, but community leaders said they have been fielding calls all week from black residents who have been the victim of harassment or racial slurs.
“I have had these calls all weekend long, really since Wednesday,” said Dora Berksteiner, president of the Staten Island African-American Political Association. “There have been different experiences with cars full of white men.”
The political association announced it is hosting a town hall-style meeting on Thursday at 75 Stuyvesant Place at 7:30 p.m. to discuss ways the community can keep the emotion from the historic win from spilling out into violence and intimidation.
No arrests have been made in the Kamara case, although the U.S. attorney’s office of the Eastern District of New York and the FBI announced on Friday they had joined the investigation.