Video online of an apparent assault that occurred in Philadelphia has caught the attention of police and has possible implications of a racially motivated attack.
A Philadelphia police spokesperson on Wednesday said the department is aware of the video, but has not yet received a report of an incident.
“We aware of the disturbing video, which depicts the assault of a young man and woman, by what appear to be a group of juveniles,” police said. “At this point, it does not appear that the incident was reported to police. However, violent acts such as this are inexcusable and should not be tolerated. We encourage the victims or any witness to contact police. We also encourage the parents of those involved to take appropriate and responsible measures.”
SEPTA officials, though aware of the video, could not confirm the location of the incident, when it took place and whether it was at a station on the Market-Frankford Line or Broad Street Line.
The Instagram account @daasianhiphop posted the chaotic video Tuesday, claiming the assailant had targeted an Asian couple on a Philadelphia subway.
In the brief video, a group is seen surrounding and pummeling the couple while they are on the ground. The footage suggests the incident occurred on a subway platform, rather than inside a subway car.
The video was first picked up by Asian news and culture website Nextshark, which has followed the recent wave of harassment targeting people of Asian descent. Many of these incidents have been attributed to xenophobic hysteria surrounding the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in China and has stoked fears of a devastating global pandemic.