In 2018, a 57-year-old Black woman was walking to a subway station in Brooklyn when a white man began stabbing her and yelling racial slurs.
CNN reports that on Wednesday, 34-year-old Aleksejs Saveljevs was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the attack. Saveljevs pleaded guilty to first-degree attempted assault as a hate crime, according to a release viewed by CNN from Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez. “This defendant viciously assaulted a fellow subway rider for no other reason than the color of her skin. Acts of hate are not tolerated in Brooklyn, a place that prides itself on the diversity of its communities. I hope this sentence sends a clear message that racism and intolerance are unwelcome here,” Gonzalez said.
The victim was approaching the entrance to a subway station when Saveljevs came from behind and began stabbing her in her shoulder and arms. According to a witness at the scene, when they asked Saveljevs what was going on, he responded with multiple racial slurs. At first, the victim went straight home but was later hospitalized and treated for a collapsed lung.
Saveljevs was also sentenced to two to four years after pleading guilty to second-degree attempted assault for attacking an off-duty police officer, CNN notes. The officer, who was walking his dog, suffered a broken cheekbone after Saveljevs struck him with an object. Saveljevs will serve both sentences concurrently.
The sentencing comes as a series of hate crimes have plagued the country. In California, a man was charged with a hate crime after driving into a crowd of Black people at a hotel and a couple faces hate crime charges after defacing a Black Lives Matter mural. In Florida, a man was charged with a hate crime after pulling a gun and yelling racial slurs at a Black man checking his mail.
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