Was the attack on a MetroLink passenger a hate crime? - KMOV.com

Was the attack on a MetroLink passenger a hate crime?

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Cell phone video captured a man being assaulted on the MetroLink Monday Cell phone video captured a man being assaulted on the MetroLink Monday
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

The victim who was attacked by several people on MetroLink on March 23 believes he was the victim of a hate crime.

The victim, who did not provide his name, said he believes it was a hate crime because he was asked about his opinion about Michael Brown case, the attackers were African American, and they did not attempt to rob him.

“They were just looking to hurt someone,” the victim said.

Saint Louis University Law School professor Justin Hansford said Missouri's hate crime law calls for enhanced penalties if someone commits a crime because of hatred or racial bias. However, Hansford told News 4 there must be clear evidence of what's going on inside the head of the suspect to convict someone of a hate crime.


Due to recent events, do you feel safe taking the MetroLink? Share your thoughts.


“Traditionally you'll see the use of a racial slur or some other use of a verbal indicator,” Hansford said.

When former Cardinals' player Curt Ford was attacked at a Gravois Bluffs gas station, the alleged attacker is accused of using racial slurs. Hansford said the mention of Michael Brown's name does not show a clear motivation.

“It's always going to be a difficult question to determine someone's motivations, so I ‘m sure there are many times that hate crimes have taken place but they were not able to be proven as hate crimes because prosecutors did not have enough evidence,” Hansford said.

Metro said it is working with the St. Louis Police Department to add more officers to patrol the trains. 

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