By Sabina Mollot
On Tuesday, a black man who attacked three people in Union Square for being white, including one person who died as a result of his injuries, was sentenced to 25 years in a state prison.
The lengthy sentence for LaShawn Marten, 44, was in part due to the fact that the assaults were considered hate crimes.
He was found guilty on July 5, nearly four years after the incidents on September 4, 2013.
That afternoon, Marten, a regular chess player at Union Square Park, had stated he would “knock out” the next white person who passed him. Not long after this, a 62-year-old man, Jeffrey Babbitt, who was white, walked by, and Marten punched him in the face. Babbitt, who got knocked down to the ground from the blow, hit his head hard on the pavement.
Moments later, when a 19-year-old bystander (also white) tried to help Babbit, Marten punched him in the face as well. When a third Good Samaritan, a 47-year-old man tried to help, Marten hit him in the head so hard that he was knocked unconscious.