(LibertySociety.com) – Kenneth Jerome Pinkney, 47, is facing charges he committed a hate crime against a postal worker after he allegedly physically assaulted her, ripped off her hijab, and made hand motions that mimicked shooting at her. Pinkney was arrested on the day of the incident, Oct. 24, and was charged with two counts of “felony evidence prejudice” as well as one count of battery.
According to the arrest affidavit, while he passed by the United States Postal Service worker outside an apartment complex in Fort Lauderdale on his bike, he “made his hand into the shape of a firearm.” He then made a gesture as if he was shooting. He told the postal worker to “go back to her country” after calling her insulting names.
According to reports, the postal worker attempted to laugh off the shooting gesture.
However, Pinkney then allegedly ripped off her hijab. He punched and slapped the postal worker in the face, and she began to bleed from her mouth. She suffered scratches to her face during the altercation, according to the report. As she attempted to get into the United States Postal Service truck he allegedly pulled on her leg and she tore his shirt in order to free herself, according to reports. She stated she would call the police and he said he would call the police as well.
According to court documents, Pinkney has been ordered by a judge to undergo a mental health evaluation.
The incident comes as reports of hate crimes across the country against Jews, Muslims and Arabs are reportedly on the rise since the beginning of war between Israel and Hamas, according to the Department of Homeland Security. The Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida chapter stated the hate crime charges would be welcomed. The organization stated that in order to deter others from engaging in “this criminal anti-social behavior,” it would “ensure they are prosecuted to the fullest extent.”
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