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School fight or hate crime? Viral video now gaining national attention

COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Civil rights leaders across the country are watching to see how police handle a fight at Chartiers Valley High School that many are calling a hate crime.

Local and national religious leaders are asking for the fight to be investigated as a hate crime and the video was discussed Tuesday in a meeting with the FBI.

But Collier Township police said originally they don't believe this incident was racially motivated and it's not clear how or if the national attention will affect their investigation.

You can see a girl lunge toward another girl wearing a headscarf and begin punching her, saying, “You're lucky you're from another language, I would crush you...”


“It was a one-sided beat down. But it was pre-planned and that is very obvious. You don't start videos rolling before anything happens,” said Safdar Khwaja, a leader of the civil rights group Council of American-Islamic Relations.

Wasi Mohamed, executive director of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, says the video was brought up in a previously scheduled meeting he had today with the FBI Greater Pittsburgh Civil Rights Working Group.

Released in the meeting were Pittsburgh's findings. Over a 10-year period, the city averaged 19 hate crime incidents a year and eight violent ethnic intimidation incidents per year.

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Despite numbers remaining steady, Mohamed says we have to look deeper than the data.

"Those statistics are missing a lot of data.  The statistics don't tell the story. Talking to the communities tell the story. Say this incidence of bullying wasn't caught on camera, this would not be a story. And this is a very typical thing that happens across the country," Mohamed said.

When Channel 11 reached out to the school district today – they referred us to their original statement in which they said they don't condone any sort of violence and they are working closely with police during the investigation.