Warning: Linked video shows graphic violence
A video began circulating on social media earlier this week that appears to show an older Asian woman being kicked in the face at a Twin Cities Metro Transit platform.
The undated video appears to have been generated on Snapchat, a popular social media photo and video sharing app, and shows two suspects harassing an older Asian woman who is standing in a transit shelter. One of the suspects then appears to kick the woman in the face while she is seated.
Scenery and structures visible in the video resemble transit structures along the Metro Transit Green Line on University Avenue in St. Paul, MN, however the specific location of the incident has not yet been confirmed.
Following an email inquiry to the Metro Transit Police Department, spokesperson Howie Padilla stated that they only became aware of the incident on Tuesday afternoon when the video began circulating on social media. Padilla said that since then, investigators have been working to gather any possible details and piece together when and where the incident happened, as well as who may have been involved. “We absolutely want to hold anyone accountable for their actions shown in the video,” Padilla said.
Violent incidents have regularly been reported at or near transit hubs and stations and some others have also been captured on video. Last August, two teens were captured on video assaulting and robbing a man in a wheelchair on a transit platform near the state capitol. In November, a TSA agent was assaulted by a group of teens on a Blue Line train in Minneapolis while on his way home from work. Earlier in November, 75-year-old Shirwa Hassan Jibril was brutally attacked and killed near the Chicago Lake Transit Center after following a verbal altercation with a group on a bus.
GOP lawmakers raised concerns at the beginning of the year about transit-related violence and vowed to address it in this year’s session. In a puzzling turn, Democrats shortly thereafter introduced a bill to decriminalize fare evasion and eliminate associated criminal penalties. GOP lawmakers in turn introduced a bill that called for a Metro Transit light rail transit safety assessment. However, in the Democrat controlled House, the safety assessment bill has not received a hearing. Legislative schedules and priorities have also been shifted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, putting many bills and hearings on hold.
The person who originally circulated the video of the assault on the Asian woman and who was seeking information on the suspects subsequently updated a post on Facebook and said that the St. Paul Police Department had contacted him and that he’s turned over all of the information to them for investigation.
Anybody with information on the incident or the suspects is encouraged to contact the St. Paul Police Department.
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