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Newburyport Police Investigating Spoken Racial Slur As Crime

July 21, 2020

Police in the city of Newburyport are investigating an incident in which a white man is accused of yelling a racial slur at a 14-year-old black boy.

The boy was one of three youths (the other two white) who bought Munchkins at a Dunkin’ Donuts on State Street in Newburyport on Thursday, July 18 and were sharing them with passersby, according to The Daily News of Newburyport.

A white man who said he didn’t want any doughnuts yelled a six-letter racial slur that begins with “n” at the black boy out the window of his car and then drove off, witnesses said. A woman who caught part of the exchange on a cell phone video later gave it to police along with the license plate of the man’s car, which enabled police to track him down.

Police have not specified what crime the man may have committed, but have said they are consulting with the district attorney of Essex County to see “whether the incident meets the standard for a hate crime/bias-motivated crime.”

“The Newburyport Police Department is actively investigating this incident, using all resources at our disposal. We do not tolerate acts of racism or bias in our community, and we will pursue this investigation, wherever the facts take us,” said Mark Murray, the city marshal, in a written statement Monday, July 20.

Newburyport calls the head of its police force the “city marshal.”

The mother of the 14-year-old boy said she’d just like the man to apologize to her son.

“I am trying to raise them with no hate in their hearts,” the mother told The Daily News of Newburyport, referring to her three children.

Newburyport is a city of about 18,000 along the coast of northeastern Massachusetts, one town south of the New Hampshire border.

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