Knockout Games – Should They Be Viewed as Hate Crimes? [POLL]
If you live in a quasi-urban setting, you’d do well to always be aware of your surroundings. The newest trend in urban violence perpetrated by male teens is a game called “knockout,” where the assailant, for fun, takes a swipe at an unsuspecting passerby and knocks him or her out with a violent blow.
You may remember the story some months back of a homeless man in Hoboken beaten to death by a gang of youths in a game of knockout.
Well, it’s happening more and more.
New reports of “knockout” incidents involving teens physically assaulting strangers have surfaced and it’s prompting community leaders to call for an end to the violence.
Teens from cities in New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia have been caught on camera approaching strangers on the street and knocking them to the ground with one powerful punch to the face or head in a game called “Knockout.” Reports of the “game” have also surfaced in Massachusetts, Illinois and Missouri.
A D.C. woman was approached by a group of eight males on bikes last Thursday when one reached out, punched her in the back of the head and rode away.
A 78-year-old woman fell victim 10 days ago in Brooklyn, making her ninth reported “Knockout” victim in New York. Authorities are investigating the attacks as hate crimes, NBC 4 New York reported. Some of the attacks have targeted members of the Jewish community.
The alarming trend gained national attention in May after a 51-year-old man died in Syracuse, N.Y., in the hands of a group of teenagers who knocked him out and stomped on him. In the same month, a 20-year-old man was sentenced to 55 years in prison after he struck and killed a man in St. Louis back in 2011.
NBC10 in Philadelphia last week reported on a similar Internet trend called #SmackCam, which uses the Vine smartphone app to capture people being unexpectedly slapped in the face. What started out as a playful game spawned by boredom turned awry when more violent depictions of the game started popping up on social media site.
A compilation video on YouTube has amassed 1.7 million views since it was posted in July.
In a fair number of cases, the assailants are African American and their prey could be white, Jewish, or in the case of Santiago, Hispanic.
Again, that’s not to say all assailants are black, nor to say that all victims are white – but in the cases where you have black on white, shouldn’t those crimes be treated as hate crimes?
Should knockout attacks be treated as hate crimes?