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A disturbing trend of unprovoked and random attacks known as the “knockout” game has exploded across the New York metropolitan area. Now, NYPD officials want to investigate the game as a hate crime after several Jews reported they’ve been victims of the violent act.

In New York and parts of northern New Jersey, the “knockout game,” essentially where a group of individuals randomly sucker punch a person to the point of unconsciousness, isn’t a new thing. However, a rash of the assaults have been especially robust in Crown Heights, Brooklyn of late. Seven attacks have been counted, and with the number of people of Jewish descent involved, citizens are calling for an investigation.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who infamously wore blackface for a costume event earlier this year, was the most vocal elected official thus far. “[T]hey’re playing a game: ‘knockout.’ ‘Knock out the Jew,’ maybe. And they’re going around the neighborhood punching Jews,” said Hikind to CBS New York.

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly has heeded the call of Jewish citizens concerned that the game has anti-Semitic overtones, but did caution that it was difficult to tell if that was the case. Of course, the knee-jerk reaction in Crown Heights, which has  history as a hotbed of tension between Blacks and Jews in times past, does raise several questions. Kelly says the Hate Crimes Task Force is on the case.

In New Jersey, the “knockout” game made national news after three New Jersey teen boys hit and killed a 46-year-old homeless man. In 2011, an elderly Asian St. Louis was killed after teens attacked him under the guise of the game.

Hit the next page to see video of one of the Crown Heights assaults along with photos of the attack. There’s also another video reporting on attacks in Jersey City. A warning: the images may be disturbing.

[Gothamist]

Photos: YouTube, CrownHeights.info

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