A recently discovered game called “knock-out” has become an epidemic in many areas of the United States, and many have begun to suspect that it is essentially a hate crime. It has surfaced in New York, Conn., Washington, D.C and some parts of Philadelphia. Although, it is considered just a vicious and violent game, it is beginning to seem like the “targets” are less random than one can believe.
The object of the game is to knock out as many people as possible using only one punch. Many who participate, record their assaults and upload them to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Players aim to be crowned as the strongest and most daring of their friends, and there is a shockingly high amount of people who take part in the “fun.”
In the beginning, the hate crime epidemic seemed truly randomized. It is supposed to be strangers in public, without much emphasis on the victims having any religious or ethnic correlations. However, several instances prove otherwise. For example, a man in New York was charged with committing a hate crime twice after he attacked two Jewish males and made anti-semitic comments while he was allegedly playing “knock-out.”
New York in particular seems to be the root of hate crime related knock-out games. Although the New York Police Department refused to give a solid number, an alarming number of attacks have occurred in the city. Unfortunately, it seems that victims in this area are predominantly Jewish.
Another incident occurred last Wednesday, when two teenage Jewish girls were attacked by four African American teenaged boys. None of the boys were brought to justice, and the girls were too devastated to give a helpful description of the perpetrators.
Although there is largely a serious correlation between the attacks and their ethnicity, it is questionable how anyone who plays this game would even know if the victim is Jewish. From this question develops a racially charged accusation that has many people buzzing: are many of these attackers choosing caucasian targets in general?
This can be easily refuted, since members of all races have been reported to participate in “knock-out.” In fact, several cases in Philadelphia were assaults by all-white groups. However, New York may be the exception in this case, since the correlation between victims is strangely high and therefore each attack is very likely to be a hate crime.
Regardless, New York police officials stated that everyone should remain wary and be careful not to be alone, especially in dark places. They have advised that people stay in groups no matter where they are, as there is strength and safety in numbers. More undercover patrol officers have been dispatched to further monitor the situation.
Police departments in other areas have advised the same, and extra security is being added in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Places with less instances of this game, such as Trenton, have also decided to increase undercover officers in case of further Hate Crime being involved in ahy new games.
By Hend Salah