SUB­UR­BAN WOMAN CHARGED WITH HATE CRIME FOR AL­LEGEDLY TELLING MAN TO LEAVE PIER BE­CAUSE HE’S BLACK

Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS - BY DAVID STRUETT, CST WIRE RE­PORTER dstruett@sun­times.com | @dstru312

A 65-year-old North­field woman is charged with a hate crime af­ter al­legedly telling a man to leave a Win­netka pier in Au­gust be­cause he is Black.

The ex­change — cap­tured on video in a now-vi­ral tweet — shows Irene Donoshayti­s ques­tion­ing if the man is al­lowed on the beach since he doesn’t have a pass, ac­cord­ing to Win­netka Po­lice Deputy Chief Brian O’Con­nell.

When told by park district staff that a pass isn’t nec­es­sary, she con­tin­ues to ar­gue with him and asks the staffer for their man­ager, video of the Aug. 18 in­ci­dent shows.

Af­ter more ar­gu­ing, the man hold­ing the cam­era asks, “Is it be­cause I’m Black?” and the woman replies “Yes” and nods her head, the video shows.

Af­ter an­other ver­bal ex­change, she tries to knock the phone out of the man’s hand, O’Con­nell said. Donoshayti­s was ar­rested that night and charged with mis­de­meanor bat­tery, he said.

The bat­tery charge was up­graded Wed­nes­day to a hate crime, O’Con­nell said.

Donoshayti­s turned her­self into po­lice later Wed­nes­day and went to the Skokie court­house, where a judge or­dered her held on $10,000 bail.

The vic­tim, 25-year-old Otis Camp­bell, said he had just fin­ished a bike ride with friends when Donoshayti­s con­fronted him. “From ev­ery­thing that’s been go­ing on, it could’ve ended very bad,” said Camp­bell, re­fer­ring to re­cent fa­tal shoot­ings of Black peo­ple by po­lice.

Camp­bell, who grew up in Skokie, said he does not wish ill to­ward Donoshayti­s and will let the jus­tice sys­tem de­cide the pun­ish­ment, adding that he’s “not the one throw­ing this at her.”

He said that sim­i­lar racially mo­tived in­ci­dents hap­pen ev­ery day but said this one gar­nered at­ten­tion be­cause it was recorded.

He said he hopes the con­fronta­tion can be an ed­u­ca­tional mo­ment for the world. “Ev­ery­body knows the feel­ing of be­ing stared at be­cause of how you look,” he said. “It’s hap­pen­ing ev­ery day, and it’s up to you to ed­u­cate peo­ple, not to beat some­one up over it.”

Donoshayti­s is due back in court Sept. 18, ac­cord­ing to county records.

TWIT­TER

A video frame ap­pears to show an ex­change be­tween two peo­ple Aug. 18 in Win­netka that ended in hate crime charges be­ing filed.

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