A Staten Island teen is dead after a reportedly racist mob chased him with racial slurs and weapons, NY Daily News reports.
Witnesses described the Black teen was chased down by a mostly White crew yelling “I got a gun!” and “I’m gonna shoot you, n—-r!” before he collapsed and died of an asthma attack.
“To me, it’s murder,” said Diane Fatigati, an ex-NYPD officer and 9/11 responder who was at the scene. “They were chasing him — that’s a crime. You’re hunting them because they’re black … You’re calling them a n—-r.”
Fatigati tried to revive the 16-year-old, but it was too late. Fatigati explains the group consisted of young white males and one hispanic man, who were in pursuit of the teen in cars bearing Pennsylvania license plates.
Mckenzie’s devastated mom, expressed her outrage with the situation.
“The sadness turns to anger,” Richardson told The Daily News. “I want justice for him. Somebody should be held accountable.”
Richardson explained her son left his inhaler behind when he headed out with some of his friends. The buddies reportedly met up behind a fast food restaurant when they were confronted by the group.
Police tell the site that the meeting was premeditated, but that isn’t confirmed. One witness says the dispute started over a girl.
‘You got a problem?’ And my (friend) said, ‘You got a problem?’ and it went on,” recalled 19-year-old Harry Smith who was at the scene. “They left, and they came back three cars deep. The guy in the first car had a gun.”
The boys took off in a sprint that left McKenzie dead.
Fatigati explained when she spoke to police she was open about the racial aspect of the case. But the officers reportedly stated there was “no indication of a bias element” in their official documentation of the incident.
The renewed attention around the tragedy, which transpired a week ago, will hopefully help bring the perpetrators to justice and label this as a hate crime.
“He was such a good kid,” said Richardson told The Daily News. “He would walk up to me and say, ‘Can I get a hug?’ He was just that kind of kid. Anything he wanted to do, he would do.”
We are praying for his family and friends as they deal with this devastating loss.