Claim attack inspired by Islamophobia rejected by investigators
When a teenage Muslim girl was killed in Virginia recently, some people speculated that it could be a hate crime due to her religion. It turns out however that the suspect is believed to be an illegal immigrant who was triggered by road rage.
The Fairfax County Police Department blog reports:
Road Rage Leads to Murder of Reston Teenager: Evidence in case does not point to hate crime
An autopsy this afternoon revealed the body recovered from a pond in Loudoun County is that of a Reston teenager who went missing early Sunday morning. The victim has been identified as Nabra Hassanen, 17, of Reston. The autopsy results show Nabra suffered from blunt force trauma to the upper body after a road rage incident. Darwin Martinez Torres, 22, of Sterling, is charged with her murder.
The preliminary investigation reveals at about 3:40 a.m. on Sunday, a group of as many as 15 teenagers was walking and riding bikes on Dranesville Road. The group of teens had been attending an overnight event at a mosque, the All Dulles Area Muslim Society or ADAMS Center, and had left to go to a fast food restaurant. As they were returning to the mosque, some were on the sidewalk and others were on the road itself.
Detectives believe Torres came upon the teens while he was driving. The investigation reveals a teenaged boy on a bike began arguing with Torres. Torres then drove his car onto the curb as the group scattered. Witnesses say Torres caught up with them a short time later in a nearby parking lot and got out of his car armed with a baseball bat and began chasing the group. Torres was able to catch Nabra. His anger over the encounter led to violence when he hit Nabra with a baseball bat. Torres then took Nabra with him in his car to a second location nearby in Loudoun County.
Here’s a video report from NJ.com which acknowledges that it wasn’t a hate crime but includes stats about hate crimes against Muslims anyway:
Here’s more from FOX 5 DC:
Man charged with murder of Muslim teen; road rage appears to have led to killing, police say
A man has been charged with murder after police say he killed a 17-year-old Reston girl whose body was found in a pond hours after being reported missing during an early morning incident in Virginia.
Fairfax County Police say the victim, Nabra Hassanen, was with a group of teenagers of about 15 people walking and riding their bikes along Dranesville Road from a McDonald’s restaurant at around 3:40 a.m. Sunday. The group got involved in a dispute with the driver of a vehicle after they attended an overnight event at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) Center.
Police say a teenage boy got into an argument with the driver, identified as 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres. He ended up driving his car onto the curb as the group scattered. Witnesses say Torres caught up with them later at a nearby parking lot and got out of his vehicle, chasing them with a baseball bat.
According to police, Torres struck Hassanen with the bat. Torres then put her into his car and took her to another location in Loudoun County.
Some people just can’t let go of the narrative. Petula Dvorak writes at the Washington Post:
Nabra Hassanen’s death may not legally be a hate crime, but it sure feels hateful
Hate is hate is hate.
That’s the bottom line. And it is rotting our country, no matter what flavor or shape it comes in.
The killing of 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen, whose body was found in a pond near her mosque in Northern Virginia after some sort of encounter with a motorist, is not being investigated as a hate crime, officials said Monday.
Officials are saying it’s being investigated as a road rage incident.
A hate crime, as we understand it, fits into a tight, legal narrative. It’s a crime motivated by prejudice — whether it’s based on race, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
And so far, investigators do not believe Nabra was picked out, targeted and killed specifically because she was a Muslim wearing an abaya, walking to her mosque. And it seems that she was not killed simply because she was a young woman walking outside in the darkness.
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