District Attorney Eric Gonzalez of Brooklyn stated on Thursday that the 17-year-old high school student who was detained on a hate-motivated murder charge in the fatal stabbing of a professional dancer after an altercation between two groups of friends at a New York City gas station last month has been charged.
In connection with the murder of LGBT man O’Shae Sibley, 28, on Friday, police arrested a juvenile. A juvenile named Dmitriy Popov is named in the criminal complaint.
‘This young man’s death is heartbreaking and pointless,’ Gonzalez added. The DA went on to say that the murder would be treated as both a homicide and a hate crime in court.
The tweet below verifies the news:
A 17-year-old boy was charged with murder and a hate crime in the killing of 28-year-old O’Shae Sibley, a gay man who was stabbed to death while dancing at a Brooklyn gas station last weekend, New York City authorities said Saturday. https://t.co/DWkLCBhjd1
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) August 5, 2023
The adolescent has been indicted on multiple charges, including second-degree murder committed out of hatred for a certain group. If convicted of both the murder in the second degree and the hate crime, the adolescent may spend anywhere from 25 years to life in prison.
Gonzalez continued by saying that there has been an upsurge in hate speech directed at the LGBTQ+ community as a result of anti-LGBTQ+ policies being passed around the country.
On Saturday, at the Brooklyn petrol station where Sibley was killed on July 29, Mayor Eric Adams, a retired police captain, said, “Parents lost a child, a child, to something that was clearly a hate crime.”
Sibley was dancing with his buddies to a Beyoncé song when the two groups got into an altercation near one of the gas pumps, leading to the stabbing. According to the authorities, the other group had been taunting Sibley’s group before to the outbreak of violence.
In the future, Beyoncé would honor Sibley on her website. The argument between the two groups was caught on camera and lasted for several minutes. After both sides had walked away, Sibley and his companion returned suddenly to confront the young man who had lingered behind to capture the incident on his phone.
Sibley was seen following the teenager and lunging at him in the footage before both of them were out of frame. A second later, he comes into view from behind, checks his side, and suddenly drops to the ground. According to Assistant Police Chief Joe Kenny, he was stabbed once in the left rib cage. “We can see on the video a heated verbal dispute quickly turns physical,” he said.
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“As they waited to refuel their vehicle, Mr. Sibley and his group began dancing to music that was being played in their car. At this point, a male called out to Mr. Sibley and his group demanding that they stop dancing,” Kenny said. “As the group began to yell at Mr. Sibley and his friends, they began to call him derogatory names and use homophobic slurs against him.”
According to the police report, Sibley and the other four males had an initial contact that lasted around four minutes when they stopped to refuel on their way from New Jersey back to New York City. The suspect allegedly coordinated his surrender with his lawyer, according to the authorities. At the press conference, Lee Soulja Simmons, director of the NYC Center for Black Pride, also shared her thoughts.
“We wrestle with people within our community constantly facing discrimination — not just because you’re Black but because you represent LGBT” communities, he said. “The fact that he was doing nothing more but voguing and dancing here, he did not deserve to die in that way,” Simmons said.
Otis Pena, a witness and friend of Sibley’s, said on Facebook that the victim was targeted because of Sibley’s sexual orientation and “because he stood up for his friends.” Summy Ullah, a witness, testified in interviews that the guys said they were insulted as Muslims because of the men’s actions. The killing was denounced by some prominent members of the local Muslim community.
“The weight of this loss is felt deeply, not just by the family and friends of O’Shae, but by all of us who value life, peace, and justice,” Soniya Ali, executive director of the Muslim Community Center, said on Saturday. “As Muslims, we are committed to stand up for justice, even if it means standing against our own selves,” she said. “We unequivocally condemn the unjust murder of O’Shae.”
Sibley studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Ailey Extension program in New York and performed with the Philadanco dance group in his hometown of Philadelphia.
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