When is a crime a hate crime? – Minneapolis Star Tribune

What makes an assault, act of vandalism or even a bombing a hate crime? In Minnesota, it depends on who you ask.

When a 54-year-old Shorewood man allegedly punched and elbowed Door Dash driver Haarun Galbayte repeatedly one morning last month, he is said to have punctuated his blows with racial slurs and calls for Galbayte to return to his home country of Somalia.

Yet despite the victim’s account of being the recipient of one of the oldest racist tropes in the book, police in the southwest metro suburb say they are not investigating the attack as a hate crime. That is to the dismay of groups like the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which last week brought attention to the case and demanded that it be counted as an example of a “bias-motivated” crime.

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