Posted on April 25, 2005

Racial Wrangle

Angelina Cappiello and Patrick Gallahue, New York Post, Apr. 25

City lawyers overruled the Police Department and charged a band of Brooklyn toughs with a hate crime for allegedly shouting, “Black power!” as they beat up a group of girls in Marine Park, The Post has learned.

In a case that roiled racial tensions in Brooklyn — and became a rallying point on white-supremacy Web sites — locals are now second-guessing law enforcement.

Cops locked up five of the alleged attackers — all juveniles — but did not charge them with a bias crime.

The city’s Corporation Counsel Office, which prosecutes cases in Family Court, raised the charges against the assailants.

Sources said the initial report did not include the comments allegedly made by the suspects. “It should have been a hate crime from day one,” fumed one parent.

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Finally, a posse of 20 to 30 girls set upon the victims with kicks and punches, while shouting, “White crackers,” “Black power,” and, curiously, “Martin Luther King.”

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She managed to drive back into the park and collect the other five girls. Two girls were taken to a local hospital. One suffered a torn muscle in the forearm, had a chunk of her hair pulled out, and received a CAT scan because of kicks to the head.

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