St. Louis, Mo., police have effectively blamed murder victim Zemir Begic for being at the “wrong place” at the “wrong time” when teenagers attacked him with hammers after shouting “kill the white people.”
Begic, 32, was beaten to death not far from the Ferguson riots Sunday morning by a gang of teenagers who’d been running up and down the street shouting “f*** the white people, kill the white people,” according to an eyewitness, but officials are claiming the murder wasn’t racially motivated.
“We think it was wrong place, wrong time,” police spokesperson Schron Jackson said.
So basically the police are suggesting that it’s Begic’s fault that he, his wife and his two friends were minding their own business driving through the city before they were attacked by the teens.
This appears to be another attempt by officials to downplay the possible racial motivations behind the attack which occurred amid the massive unrest still erupting from the Aug. 9 police shooting of Ferguson resident Mike Brown.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay also claimed there was “no evidence that this was a crime occasioned by the race or ethnicity of the victim,” but the same gang that murdered Begic targeted another white Bosnian, 24-year-old Seldin Dzananovic, late Saturday night.
Dzananovic said the group of about five teens taunted him before attacking him with a hammer.
He was able to fight off the attackers, however, while sustaining only minor injuries.
“I’m just lucky,” he said. “God is on my side.”
Begic’s cousin Amra Begic believes her cousin’s murder was motivated by race.
“Look at the details, the details speak for themselves, why would they just target a random person?” Amra told KWWL.
For one thing, the assault didn’t begin until one of the attackers jumped on the back of Begic’s car and begin hitting it while Begic was driving, which isn’t really conceivable if the attack was simply random and had nothing to do with the Ferguson protests.
“Unsure of what was happening, Mr. Begic stopped the car and got out,” the police report said. “At that point he was approached by the defendant, T.K., and two other men. The defendant taunted Mr. Begic and challenged him to a fight.”
“All four men began assaulting Mr. Begic and at least one of them struck Mr. Begic with a hammer.”