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PITTSBURGH (AP/KDKA) – The number of ethnic intimidation incidents logged by police in Pittsburgh has remained mostly steady over the last 10 years.
That’s one of the results of a study released Tuesday.
The analysis covers the period from the beginning of 2008 through Oct. 28 of this year.
The city averaged about 19 incidents per year, of which about eight were violent incidents.
About three-quarters of the incidents were motivated by race, compared to about 9 percent by ethnicity, 8 percent by religion and 6 percent by sexual orientation.
The analysis found most of the incidents involving race targeted blacks.
Police are currently investigating one incident that happened at the 7-Eleven on Wood Street earlier this month.
Zahair Martinez says he was attacked by a group of people because he is black and transgender.
“I mean, you would tell by my voice. [One attacker] called me a ‘he/she,’ so she said, ‘I’ll throw coffee at this [expletive],'” Martinez said.
Martinez says someone did throw coffee in his face and he was repeatedly punched and kicked. He says no one called the police and it wasn’t until he got outside the store that he found someone to take him to the hospital.
The Delta Foundation and Dena Stanley, who also runs Trans YOUniting, offered Martinez support.
Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich stresses the importance of reporting intimidation incidents.
“That’s what you’re doing. You’re standing up for the justice system, letting them know I’m not the one for this and this shouldn’t happen to me and you’re not going to do this to anybody else,” Stanley said.
Hissrich said arrest rates for violent intimidation incidents average roughly 60 percent.
No arrests have been made in Martinez’s case.
Representatives for 7-Eleven say they are very concerned about the incident and don’t condone that kind of behavior.
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