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Hate crime charge becomes a concern in BPD employee assault and robbery incident

CAIR and Jewish Interfaith organization offer $2,000 award for suspects' arrest
Posted at 5:06 PM, Jul 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 08:23:07-04

BALTIMORE — CAIR, a Muslim civil rights group, was joined by Baltimore Muslim leaders and BPD officials at a news conference to show support to a Baltimore Police employee who was a victim of a tragic assault and robbery on Wednesday.

Police say the 59-year-old employee was walking in the unit block of Albemarle Street when he was assaulted by three unidentified suspects. The group hit the man multiple times, took his car keys and stole his car. Police say the victim suffered non-life threatening injuries.

CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad was at the news conference and clarified that in the surveillance video released by ATF, the victim was wearing a religious garment when the suspects were seen aiming at his religious head attire. Awad believes the actions presented by the criminals was an act of a hate crime.

"So we ask the police and the investigators not to rule out any bias motivation in this crime," said Awad. "So it could be a robbery but also we should not rule out the element of a hate crime."

Baltimore Police Deputy Michael Sullivan says the department is working to investigate the incident and has confidence they will close the case. When asked if they will consider a hate crime charge, Sullivan said the department is not ruling anything out and they plan to present the facts and evidence to the State's Attorney's Office.

The State's Attorney's Office, CAIR officials, city leaders along with the downtown Jewish Community all echoed the same message in bringing justice to the victim following the reported attack. In an effort to bring the case to a close, CAIR officials and the Baltimore Jewish Community announced a combined $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects. This recent reward will be added to the $32,000 award announced by ATF, FBI, and Metro Crime Stoppers.