ONTD Political

[TW Murder, Islamophobia] Woman Accused of Hate-Crime Murder in Subway Push

5:31 pm - 12/29/2012
A 31-year-old woman was being held by the police on Saturday, authorities said, in connection with the death of a man who was pushed onto the tracks of an elevated subway station in Queens and crushed by an oncoming train.

The woman, Erika Menendez of the Bronx, has been charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime, Richard A. Brown, the Queens district attorney, said.

“The defendant is accused of committing what is every subway commuter’s nightmare,” Mr. Brown said in an interview. “Being suddenly and senselessly pushed into the path of an oncoming train.”

Mr. Brown said that the woman was motivated by hatred, telling the police, that she “pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.”

Ms. Menendez conflated the Muslim and Hindu faiths both in her comments to the police and in her target for attack, officials said.

The victim, Sunando Sen, was born in India and, according to a roommate, was raised Hindu.

Mr. Sen “was allegedly shoved from behind and had no chance to defend himself,” Mr. Brown said. “Beyond that, the hateful remarks allegedly made by the defendant and which precipitated the defendant’s actions should never be tolerated by a civilized society.”

Mr. Brown said that he had no information on the defendant’s criminal or mental history.

“It will be up to the court to determine if she is fit to stand trial,” he said.

The attack occurred around 8 p.m. on Thursday at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station in Sunnyside.

Mr. Sen was peering out over the tracks when a woman approached him from behind and shoved him onto the tracks, accoarding to the police. Mr. Sen never saw her, the police said..

The woman fled the station, running down two flights of stairs and down the street.

By the next morning, a brief and grainy black-and-white video of the woman who the police said was behind the attack was being broadcast on news programs.

Patrol officers picked up Ms. Menendez early Saturday after someone who had seen the video on television spotted her on a Brooklyn street and called 911, said Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department. She was taken to Queens and later placed in lineups, according to detectives.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said Friday that according to witnesses’ accounts, there had been no contact on the subway platform between the attacker and the victim immediately before the fatal shove.

The case was the second this month involving someone being pushed to death in a train station. In the first case, Ki-Suck Han, 58, of Elmhurst, Queens, died under the Q train at the 49th Street and Seventh Avenue station on Dec. 3. Naeem Davis, 30, has been charged with second-degree murder in that case. A lawyer for Mr. Davis said his client had been trying to push Mr. Han away after an altercation.

The police said Mr. Sen was a 46-year-old immigrant who lived in Queens After years of hard work, he had finally saved enough money to open a small copying business this year on the Upper West Side.

Ar Suman, one of four roommates who shared a small first-floor apartment with Mr. Sen in Elmhurst, said he was driving a client upstate when another roommate called and told him what had happened. Mr. Suman raced back to the city, only to find there was nothing he could do.

“He was a very educated person and quite nice,” Mr. Suman said. “It is unbelievable. He never had a problem with anyone.”

Mr. Sen’s roommates could not understand what might have led to the fatal encounter on Thursday. “This guy is so quiet, so gentle, so nice,” said M. D. Khan, a taxi driver who also lives in the apartment.


Source.

She murdered someone for a racial/religious reason and had the sense to run away after killing him. I see nothing mentally ill about this. I see everything hateful about this.
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winniechili 29th-Dec-2012 10:44 pm (UTC)
Hope she rots in jail for a long long time.
karma_aster 29th-Dec-2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the running away definately means that she knew her actions were in the wrong, given that she was clearly trying to escape the consequences, and, since an inability to distinquish right from wrong is the core of an insanity plea, I'm thinking any halfway decent prosecutor could tear that one apart fairly quickly.

Also, leaving aside the stupidity of "all Muslims are responsible for 9/11!!", where the hell is pulling Hinduism from? Or is it an inbility to tell those scary brown people apart?

Her insanity plea isn't gonna hold water, but I sincerely hope this woman gets some help and soon. She's got a whole hell of a lot of issues.
sihaya09 30th-Dec-2012 12:06 am (UTC)
where the hell is pulling Hinduism from? Or is it an inbility to tell those scary brown people apart?

Bingo.
girly123 29th-Dec-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Reeeeeeealy wish we could have that national conversation about the violent Islamophobia running rampant in this country and therest of the West.
tiddlywinks103 30th-Dec-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
Right?
romp 29th-Dec-2012 11:14 pm (UTC)
This is why I like hate speech laws. Hate mongering affects people and they make it part of their world view, especially if they already have a black/white, hero/villain mentality. People die, clearly, because of shit like that.
weightofeons 30th-Dec-2012 10:05 am (UTC)
Being in the UK, we have the hate speech laws and use them positively, however you have to watch it carefully for what is registered as hate speech - the blanket allowed rule of US law means at least no one will be able to create a blasphemy law, where as there's a real drive in places for one to come into being here as an EU regulation.
mskye 29th-Dec-2012 11:18 pm (UTC)
I really hope that they throw the book at her. Too many Americans think that this shit is okay.
thepikey 29th-Dec-2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
Y'know what would've prevented that?

More guns.
moonshaz 30th-Dec-2012 01:53 am (UTC)
I hope this was sarcasm. Because if not, "facepalm.gif"!

Edited at 2012-12-30 01:53 am (UTC)
tadashee 29th-Dec-2012 11:59 pm (UTC)
Ugh. This makes me so sad and furious.
youdontknowher 30th-Dec-2012 01:03 am (UTC)
fuck this, fuck her, fuck the world, fuck it all.
tabaqui 30th-Dec-2012 01:20 am (UTC)
I am so fucking sick of hateful, ignorant Americans being, basically, hateful and ignorant.

And also sick to fucking *death* of the people who go around spewing hateful speech that gets other ignorant bastards all fired up.
emofordino 30th-Dec-2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
this x infinity. all it takes is one extra-loud, obnoxious, ignorant bigot and ends up being like a fucking bat signal to the rest of them.
zinnia_rose 30th-Dec-2012 01:38 am (UTC)
Fuuuuuck. That poor man and his family. :( It sounds like she knew exactly what she was doing and I hope they lock her bigoted ass up for a good long time.
sesmo 30th-Dec-2012 02:00 am (UTC)
Needs mental illness tag too.
chaya 30th-Dec-2012 02:29 am (UTC)
For what?
liret 30th-Dec-2012 03:32 am (UTC)
Her thought process sounds pretty disordered in her statements, so I wouldn't say that because this is a hate crime it isn't also related to mental illness. Which isn't to say she isn't responsible for her actions, but someone can know they'll get in trouble for something and still not understand why it's wrong, or give in to violent, hard to control impulses.

This murder is still clearly about Islamophobia, though. The idea that ordinary muslim people (and somehow, middle eastern people in general or anyone who might kind-of-maybe be middle eastern) are a danger and threat is treated like a mainstream, legitimate opinion instead of baseless hate. It's not a surprise when people who have paranoia or delusions take this as literal fact. I just wish anyone who's made a career out of basically saying things like this should happen was forced to admit that's what they're doing.
chaya 30th-Dec-2012 03:36 am (UTC)
In her one statement, you mean? Which is one sentence?
angelofdeath275 30th-Dec-2012 04:00 am (UTC)
Omfg idiots already discussing fucking MI
chaya 30th-Dec-2012 04:02 am (UTC)
Hold me back please.
tamingheadfauna 30th-Dec-2012 04:05 am (UTC)
Ugh...

Hateful & ignorant =/= mental illness.
Hateful & ignorant === bigotry.

And the Islamopobia has got to go already. :P
koshkabegemot 30th-Dec-2012 04:06 am (UTC)
What in the goddamned fuck.

My heart goes out to the victim and his family. This is so fucking sad beyond sad.
wikilobbying Re: She had a history of mental illness30th-Dec-2012 05:11 am (UTC)
so let's review this:
- witnesses who, as far as we can tell, are strangers to menendez. and i'm sorry, drawing assumptions about mental health from someone talking/muttering to themselves? did they clearly hear menendez? because what was she talking/muttering to herself about and what was it like? that makes a world of difference. a vague ass statement tells us nothing, because a ton of us will talk/mutter to ourselves regardless of the state of our mental health. and it doesn't mean we all go pushing people in front of a train.

- a statement from an unnamed law enforcement source.

- a statement from an unnamed cousin.

ahh unnamed sources, such wonderful beacons of trustworthy information from journalists who are just so wonderful at their jobs.

she could have a record of actually being diagnosed and treated/seeking help/being hospitalized in some form or fashion, but this article does a piss poor job at saying anything remotely like that.
angelofdeath275 30th-Dec-2012 04:37 am (UTC)
LIKE

WE HAVE A CLEAR FUCKING CASE OF OVERT, BLATANT, IGNORANT ISLAMOPHOBIA IN WHICH SOMEONE WAS SLAUGHTERED</p>

BUT WHAT IF MENTAL ILLNESS

alexvdl 30th-Dec-2012 05:28 am (UTC)
Yeah... that's about what I thought.
tadashee 30th-Dec-2012 04:57 am (UTC)
I didn't read all the comments, but did anyone point out the subway ads about Muslims? Are those still not considered hate speech. I am sure there is a connection. I am so disgusted.
girly123 31st-Dec-2012 02:03 am (UTC)
Come on now, why talk about things that are actually relevant when we can argue about conjectural mental illness instead?
wikilobbying 30th-Dec-2012 05:27 am (UTC)
i'm gonna need these various news outlets to gather more, you know, facts and reliable sources who have all their information in order before they go reporting these incidents and making any insinuations. one news site has the district attorney who apparently knows nothing about menendez's mental health, another news site has unnamed sources including a law enforcement one saying she has a history with mental illness, and no one wants to get all this shit sorted out before they report on it and no one wants to handle it with the least bit of tact.

thank you, news, thank you so much for not learning your lessons.
effervescent 30th-Dec-2012 05:55 am (UTC)
Until we know more details, I think we really need to stop jumping to the oh-so-happy-and-safe place of assuming that mental illness was involved. Tbh I think it's better to assume sanity until proven otherwise than to prove the opposite, even if it is difficult.

That poor man. :/ It's so awful to think that someone could just so callously take the life of a stranger based on senseless hatred.

Edited at 2012-12-30 05:56 am (UTC)
mephisto5 30th-Dec-2012 10:13 am (UTC)
Mr. Brown said that the woman was motivated by hatred, telling the police, that she “pushed a Muslim off the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims ever since 2001 when they put down the twin towers I’ve been beating them up.”

Right, so we have this quote from the suspect herself about how much she hates Hindus and Muslims, but everyone's focussing on one unnamed source speculating about her possible history of some unnamed mental illness?

You know what, I'll go on record as saying she probably has a history of unnamed 'physical illnesses' too. Colds every year, I bet. Probably at least as true and just as relevant as the 'mental illness' info.

This is part of a trend- from the protests against the 'ground zero' (several blocks away) Mosque (community centre with a prayer room), to the shooting at a Sikh temple, there has been increasing anti 'Muslim' (i.e. brown person) rhetoric and actions in pretty much every Western country. It's not just attacks in the US, it's anti-veil laws in France and anti-Minaret laws in Switzerland. It's demonstrations by the EDL in the UK and clamping down on free movement of people into and across the entire Schengen zone. It's racism, and trying to shift the blame to 'mental illness' to avoid acknowledging just how prevalent the Islamphobic and other attacks have become in our political discourse and everyday life is pretty vile in several ways.
glass_houses 30th-Dec-2012 04:19 pm (UTC)
She murdered someone for a racial/religious reason and had the sense to run away after killing him. I see nothing mentally ill about this. I see everything hateful about this.

YUP.
girly123 30th-Dec-2012 06:01 pm (UTC)
I gleefully await the day that a post is made about Islamophobic or racist violence and commenters actually address that instead of blaming it on anything else they can possibly point to instead.

Not that that will ever happen, but a lady can dream.

Edited at 2012-12-30 06:20 pm (UTC)
angelofdeath275 30th-Dec-2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
It's fucking White Opinions all over again
borderline_mary 30th-Dec-2012 06:45 pm (UTC)
This is horrible. That poor man. Jfc, and he never even knew it was about to happen because he was pretty much just standing there minding his own goddamn business.

And wtf is all the "MENTAL ILLNESS MADE HER DO IT" shit happening in this post, I can't even.
darth_eldritch 30th-Dec-2012 07:44 pm (UTC)
Mental illness my ass.

This poor man... I have no words.
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