Anti white bias stirs protest
Residents of Howard Beach, Queens, rallied Saturday night to demand that five black and Hispanic youths busted in the beating of a white teen be charged with hate crimes.
"Enough is enough," more than 150 people shouted as they marched down 157th Ave. near Wednesday night's attack, which left 16-year-old Joseph Friedman with seven staples in his head.
They also chanted, "Free Fat Nick," referring to Nicholas Minucci, who is serving 15 years for bludgeoning a black man in a bias attack in the neighborhood in 2005.
Largely white Howard Beach became a flashpoint for racial tensions in 1986, when a dozen white teens chased Michael Griffith, a 23-year-old black man, to his death on the Belt Parkway.
It is unclear how the violence began Wednesday, but the five suspects, all from Brooklyn, have been charged with assault, menacing and weapons possession. Witnesses gave conflicting accounts of whether the young men came at a group of white teenagers with sticks or whether the white youths first hurled eggs and racial epithets.
Police sources said the Hate Crime Task Force has located several witnesses who heard anti-white statements made before the attack.