HARLEM, Manhattan — For a second day, the Rev. Al Sharpton called for the feds to investigate the death of a black Staten Island teen, following a chase by a mostly white group of teens who allegedly shouted a racial slur.
The mother of Dayshen McKenzie, 16, joined Sharpton at his National Action Network headquarters in Harlem on Saturday, supporting his call for a federal probe into the circumstances surrounding her son’s death on May 27.
Sharpton said police were too quick to dismiss the possibility the incident was racially motivated.
“Whether it was a hate crime or not, this man should not be dead, “ said Sharpton.
Police said Dayshen got a call from a friend to meet at a Staten Island Checkers for a prearranged encounter between two rival gangs over a girl.
It got out of control and Dayshen went running. He collapsed in someone’s backyard, and died of an apparent asthma attack.
“Asthma took him cause you all chased him. And he feared for his life, so he ran,” said Tisha Richardson, Dayshen distraught mom.
Retired NYPD officer, Diane Fatigati witnessed much of the incident and tried to resuscitate Dayshen. She described to PIX11 what she saw.
“Three black kids running down the block. A bunch of white kids chasing after him, calling Crips and the N-word, saying they’re going to shoot him. To me that looks racial,” said Fatigati.
Sharpton compared the Staten Island incident with what happened in Howard Beach in 1986. Michael Griffith, 23, was struck and killed by a car after being chased by a gang of white teens.
NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce called the comparison “inaccurate and irresponsible.”