The Philadelphia District Attorney’s office said three black teenagers accused of brutally beating a white taxi cab driver and his white passenger will not be charged with committing hate crimes.
The attack happened last weekend in Center City when a group of 10 teenagers swarmed the cab as it was stopped at a traffic light.
Brian Goldman, the passenger, is a student at the University of Pennsylvania – and a columnist for The Daily Pennsylvanian. He recounted the attack in a recent column.
“The driver and I got out of the cab to confront the teenagers. As the driver walked by the trunk of the car, he was sucker punched from the back. I turned my head in disbelief, wanting to go to the driver’s assistance when I felt a second, harder punch strike me across the face.
The driver popped open his trunk and pulled out a crowbar. We were in the heart of Philadelphia, a major metropolis, yet the intersection of 15th and Chestnut streets resembled the closest thing I could imagine to a war zone.
I watched as the driver chased some of the perpetrators away with his crowbar, until he was hit and knocked down again. I looked around the block: brainwashed to believe that the police would show up to protect us, that someone had called 911.”
According to Tasha Jamerson, a spokesperson for the district attorney’s office, the attack did not rise to the level of ethnic intimidation.
“It doesn’t meet the law in the Commonwealth,” she told Fox News. “It has to be motivated by hatred toward the race, color, religion or national origin of an individual or a group of individuals. We also have to prove that was the motivation of the crime.”
The teenagers have been charged with assault, conspiracy and other charges.
“We can only charge what the law says,” Jamerson said. “Obviously, if we could prosecute for stupidity and for being jerks on the street, we would in this case. These kids were absolutely reckless and nobody is giving them a pass on that.”
Jamerson denied there is a double-standard in the case.
“That’s why the law (hate crime legislation) is specific,” she said.
“Unfortunately, there are knuckle-headed kids in this city and they have to be held accountable and that’s why they are facing some very serious charges,” she said.