Three 15-year-old boys accused of attacking an Asian woman at a St. Paul light rail station in Minnesota have been charged with harassment.
The incident, which was first broadcasted live on social media on May 4, showed what appears to be an older Asian American woman being taunted by a group of young men on the train platform. One of the teens was seen leaping and landing a kick on the woman’s face.
The video attracted national attention after it became widely circulated on social media, the Associated Press reports.
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In a statement, the Asian American Organizing Project said some members expressed concern that the attack appeared to be racially motivated. The group went on to denounce racially-motivated violence against members of the Asian and Black communities.
“We oppose violence perpetrated against Asians and anyone else and we also stand firmly against anti-Blackness. We’re asking our community members to stop using anti-Black language and condemn any and all anti-Black behaviors,” the organization wrote on Twitter.
There has been a spate of racially motivated attacks against Asians apparently inspired by COVID-19 in recent months.
However, the Metro Transit Police Department investigation found no indication that the attack was racially motivated, according to MPR News.
Ramsey County prosecutors also released a statement noting that they did not find any indication that “racial or ethnic bias was involved.” They also added that there was not enough evidence to support a felony-level charge as the woman wasn’t seriously hurt enough.
The teens, who made their first court appearance in Ramsey County Juvenile Court last week, have since been charged with aiding and abetting both gross misdemeanor harassment with intent to injure and fifth-degree misdemeanor assault.
Minnesota law prevents the hearings as well as the petitions from being made public due to their ages.