The letter of petition is addressed to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NY Police Department Hate Crimes Task Force Commanding Officer Inspector Michael Osgood and MTA Bus President Tom Savage.
The New York Post reported on March 16 that 17 year old Filipina high school student, Marie Stefanie Martinez was assaulted in New York by a group of teenagers on a MTA B82 bus due to their perception that she looked “Chinese” even though she is of Filipino descent.
Ms. Martinez was punched, kicked, and subjected to slurs in what can be categorized as a hate crime based on her attackers animosity towards her perceived ethnicity.
Reportedly, the MTA bus operator who witnessed the assault did nothing to intervene during the course of the assault on Ms. Martinez.
The petition accused the bus driver of “neglecting his moral and ethical duty to ensure the safety of MTA riders and punctuated his negligent conduct by allegedly advising Ms. Martinez, who was still wearing her Catholic school uniform, to ‘go talk to a priest’ after the assault.”
The petition is asking the MTA and NYPD to “conduct a vigorous full and complete investigation into the incident ensuring that any violations found of any applicable hate crimes statutes are fully applied.”
It also called for the bus operator to “be subjected to discipline commensurate to the action of permitting riders to commit a hate crime on a MTA rider.”
“If the bus operator is found to have permitted the assault to have taken place and informed Ms. Martinez to ‘go talk to a priest’, MTA should subject the bus operator to termination from his position,” the letter said.
The petition letter could be accessed via the internet at http://www.petitiononline.com/mtahate1/petition.html.
As of Thursday afternoon, March 29, close of 2,200 persons have signed the petition.
Martinez, 17 told the New York Post that she was attacked by a group of 10 black teenagers shortly after step ping on to the B82 bus at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
“I’m just so glad the kids didn’t have a weapon. If they did, I could have died if they stabbed me with a pen or something,” said Martinez, from the Philippines.
The brazen beating began as the bus pulled away from Ocean Avenue and Kings Highway, where Martinez boarded with her pal, Sherell.
“When we got on they were al ready whis pering and mak ing noises and everything,” Martinez said. “They were like ‘I’m not letting you past’ and everything. They were laughing.”
The scared schoolgirl said she was laughed at when she tried to defend herself, with the bullies mocking her accent.
“They were pulling my hair, pulling my hair, opening my book bag!” she said. “I said, ‘Leave me alone. I’m not doing anything to you.’
“That’s when they started to crowd around me. The boy punched me twice in my face and my mouth.”
Martinez said she was ultimately saved by a man in his 30s, who pulled her from the group.
The honors student then told the driver what happened, and he shockingly said to go to talk to a priest.
She instead opted to file a report at the 63rd Precinct.