White woman beat Black woman because she was Muslim and spoke Swahili

Anoka County Jail

A White woman viciously attacked a Black Muslim woman because of her race, religion and language. The incident occurred at a restaurant in Coon Rapids, Minneapolis in Oct. 2015.

According to Minnesota Star Tribune, Asma Jama was about to have dinner with family and friends at Applebee’s when they faced harassment by Jodie Burchard-Risch and her husband. Burchard-Risch and her husband where upset because Jama and her friends were speaking Swahili so they shouted, “Go home! In America, we speak English!”

Jama attempted to speak with Burchard-Risch, 44, to gain an understanding as to why they were being taunted. But instead of responding to Jama with respect, Burchard-Risch grabbed a beer mug and smashed it into Jama’s face. Jama’s nose began bleeding and she received a deep gash on her lower lip and small cuts near her eye. She was rushed to the hospital and received several stitches.

When Burchard-Risch appeared in court recently, she was asked if she attacked Jama because of her national origin, race or religion. She responded to the question by saying, “Yep” and plead guilty to assualt.

But Burchard-Risch will not receive a harsh prison sentence due to the laws in Minneapolis. During the attack, a hate crime in the state was only considered a gross misdemeanor. This past summer, a bill was introduced by state legislators that will increase the maximum penalty for felony assaults based on the victim’s race, sex, disability, sexual orientation, age, or national origin.

As a result, Burchard-Rich would only have to serve 180 days in jail and face five years of probation for the vicious hate crime.

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