Fatoumata Camara was getting off the Bx35 bus last month in the Bronx, New York when a group of teenagers started punching her and calling her racist names.
They beat Camara, a Muslim woman, so badly she suffered a broken nose and head injury. Camara said it’s a hate crime.
“They just started attacking me. They started calling me names,” Camara told CBS2’s Christina Fan. “With my stupid hair wrap, which is a hijab… It was very, very upsetting and traumatizing because besides the mental and physical pain that I went through, for them not to do anything about my case and just leave it as my life didn’t matter.”
Camara is accusing the District Attorney’s office of refusing to prosecute her attackers because she wasn’t initially able to pick the suspects out from a photo lineup. The DA told her they won’t be pressing charges and it was Camaraherself who had to find the surveillance video for the investigation.
Camara had to go to the DA’s office herself with her lawyer to get the DA to make a commitment to take her case seriously. In the four weeks since her attack, not a single person has been identified, despite the surveillance footage.
The DA said they didn’t dismiss the case, but the police were the ones who closed the case after they weren’t able to identify the attackers. The DA’s office also said that the investigation is still “pending”.
“If I didn’t do the fight myself, I knew they were just gonna let it go, and I know I was going to be another story of a black Muslim African out there,” Camara said.
Muslim people were the target of 18.7% of religiously motivated hate crimes in 2018, which was a 6% drop from 2016, according to U.S. law enforcement agencies.