The double standard in America is utterly astounding. While it’s nothing new, it is incredibly discouraging to see again and again that the U.S. justice system refuses to recognize that they indiscriminately allow the death of black and brown bodies while shielding white bodies at all costs.

This week, that example can be seen in the murder of 16-year-old Muslim teenager whose death, police say, is not being investigated as a hate crime.

According to Fairfax Police, the abduction and brutal beating of Muslim teen Nabra Hassanen is being investigated, but her murder is not being considered a hate crime, despite pleas from her mother and the current political climate.

Darwin Martinez Torres has been charged with murder in connection with the teen’s death.

Hassanen was with a group of teens leaving an IHOP after attending service at a nearby mosque on Sunday. The group was confronted by a motorist, later identified as Torres. The teens fled to the mosque, leaving Hassanen behind.

Later, Hassanen’s body was discovered in a nearby pond. Hassanen’s mother says detectives told her that her daughter was struck with a metal bat. Police also spotted Torres near the area where they discovered the teens body. Torres was driving suspiciously, and he was arrested by police.

Hassanen’s mother disagrees with the police’s assessment of her daughter’s death. She believes that her daughter was murdered due to her religious beliefs, and her hijab.

“I’m sure the guy hit my daughter because she’s Muslim and she was wearing the hijab. The thing in my head is, why did he do that to us? We’re not bad people. He doesn’t know us. Why did he ever do that? I don’t feel safe at all anymore, as a Muslim living here now. I’m so worried about sending my kids out and their coming back as bodies.”

In response to calls to treat the murder as a hate crime, Fairfax Police posted a message on their public Twitter account on Monday morning.


In response to the post, the Virginia branch of the ACLU says they are monitoring the situation closely.



Sydney Robinson is a political writer for the Ring of Fire Network. She has also appeared in political news videos for Ring of Fire. Sydney has a degree in English Literature from the University of West Florida, and has an active interest in politics, social justice, and environmental issues. She would love to hear from you on Twitter @SydneyMkay or via email at