Chief: Reconsider hate crime charges in Fountain Square attack

Chief asks prosecutor to 'reconsider' hate crime charges in Fountain Square incident (VIDEO)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell wants Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to "reconsider hate crime charges in the Fountain Square incident," according to a statement from the chief's spokeswoman.

But Prosecutor Joe Deters has not ruled out any charges since the matter remains under investigation, his spokeswoman said.

A man was assaulted when a melee on Fountain Square spun out of control after a Fourth of July concert. Police said it has yet to be determined if the victim was a participant in the unrest or innocent bystander.

He was treated at University of Cincinnati Medical Center and released.

A police incident report labeled the assault an "anti-white" hate crime. But Cincinnati Police Captain Neville Mike said Monday officials are not investigating the attack as a hate crime despite that report. He did not say why it was initially reported as such. No ethnic crime charges were filed.

"If this became an altercation and it just so happened it was an altercation between black and white doesn't mean there is a hate crime. It's a fight," he said.

Prosecutors are still working to determine the number of suspects and exact charges against them, said Deters' spokeswoman, Julie Wilson.

Police are investigating a Facebook video showing the bloodied man in connection with the July 4 incident. Watch the video at this link. (Warning: Contains graphic images and language.)

Only eight officers were patrolling the square when juveniles began hurling bottles and fireworks at officers, according to officials. Sixty officers were called to the area as the violence unfolded.

The 1-minute video of the beaten victim was uploaded to Facebook and viewed thousands of times.

FOX19 NOW is working to gather details and will provide updates when more information becomes available.

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