MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - Police in Mount Vernon are investigating a recent fatality as a potential hate crime, Mayor Richard Thomas said on Thursday.
A man, later identified as 35-year-old Michael C. Jones, was found suffering from a head wound on Eastchester Avenue on Tuesday. He was transported to a local hospital and later died from his injuries.
According to Thomas, the preliminary reports indicate that Jones was in an altercation, where he fell or was pushed, possibly striking his head on a curb. He said police are currently investigating the incident as a potential hate crime.
Thomas said that he and the police are working with the FBI to investigate.
“Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of this individual,” he stated. “Those that seek to attack people to install fear in communities due to race, religion, or sexual orientation are cowards and will face justice. Mount Vernon is a city of inclusion and despicable acts of intimidation will not be tolerated.
“I have directed the Mount Vernon Police Department to collaborate with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Police’s Hate Crimes Unit, and our other partners in law enforcement to investigate this heinous act.”
“We will continue to work with the community to find those that are responsible for, or contributed to, this young man’s passing,” acting Police Commissioner Shawn Harris added. “Mount Vernon has become significantly safer, with crime dropping 22 percent from 2012 levels; however this loss appears to be a deeply personal conflict that may be a hate crime.”
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