Protest planned in support of man who says he was victim of racist assault in Portsmouth
A Seacoast bank executive says he was the victim of a racist attack in downtown Portsmouth the night before Thanksgiving.
State police and the New Hampshire Attorney General's office confirmed they are leading criminal and civil rights investigations.
Mamadou Dembele, a vice president with Bangor Savings Bank, who is Black, alleges he was assaulted and injured Nov. 22 on a Portsmouth street.
“Last Wednesday I was attacked on a public Portsmouth street. The words used by my attacker leave no doubt that this was a racist act," Dembele said in a written statement provided by his attorney. "My physical injuries are still hindering me but will hopefully heal with time. The fear and fury of being attacked in my home community because I was seen as ‘other’ will never go away. I am grateful that law enforcement is investigating, and I will give them space and time to complete their work. But I look forward to seeing my attacker held accountable in a court of law.”
Robin Melone, the attorney representing Dembele, said Friday afternoon she believes the assault was a hate crime. She called it an “unprovoked act” by a white assailant with more people involved, adding Dembele had never previously met them. Melone declined to describe the attack or say what Dembele's injuries were.
Dembele and supporters are planning a protest and press conference at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 3 at the African Burying Ground Memorial Park in Portsmouth.
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