(NEW YORK, NY, 09/04/19) — The New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NY), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded Erie County District Attorney John Flynn for adding hate crime charges against Lockport man, Jeffrey Calhoun.
On July 17, 2019, Mr. Calhoun grabbed and assaulted an African American Muslim woman at gunpoint following a minor traffic accident. During the assault, Mr. Calhoun used racial slurs including the “n” word.
CAIR-NY previously urged DA Flynn to pursue hate crime charges.
DA Flynn explained: “In this case here, the totality of the circumstances, the context of the entire incident with his use of the alleged racial slur is what I believe elevated it to a hate crime.”
In an online interview on Facebook, the victim, Jeanneie Muhammad called the indicted a “victory.”Watch the entire Jeanneie Muhammad interview: Jeanneie Muhammad Facebook Interview with Shellonnee Whitehead
In a statement, CAIR-NY Litigation Director Ahmed Mohamed said:
“We applaud District Attorney John Flynn for evaluating the entire incident and appropriately amending the charges to include a hate crime. It is important for Erie County to send a strong message that bigotry will not be tolerated.”
He said CAIR has reported an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims, immigrants and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president. CAIR has repeatedly expressed concern about Islamophobic, white supremacist and racist Trump administration rhetoric, policies and appointments.
Individuals in New York are asked to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR-NY at (646) 665-7599, or by filing a report at: http://www.cair-ny.org/incident-report/
CAIR’s mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.