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17-Year-Old Indicted on Hate Crime Charges for O’Shae Sibley Murder

17-Year-Old Indicted on Hate Crime Charges for O’Shae Sibley Murder

17-Year-Old Indicted on Hate Crime Charges for O’Shae Sibley Murder

Dmitry Popov faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

A 17-year-old has been indicted in the stabbing death of Brooklyn dancer O’Shae Sibley, prosecutors revealed on Thursday.

Dmitry Popov, 17, is facing a hate crime murder charge and additional charges for allegedly stabbing Sibley following a dispute at a gas station in Midwood near Coney Island around 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 29. He surrendered to authorities last Friday and was charged as an adult with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

Prosecutors said Popov and his friends were offended by the group’s dancing and used anti-gay and racist language before Popov stabbed Sibley once in the chest.

“It’s clear to me, under the circumstances of this case, that in substantial part, this attack was caused because people were offended by Mr. Sibley and his friends dancing and celebrating,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said yesterday according to an APreport.

In a series of interviews with the media, his lawyer, Mark Pollard, denied the accusations his client used antigay and racist language during the incident.

Pollard instead described Popov as “a good Christian boy” to local Fox affiliate WPIX when responding to accusations his client is a Muslim or uttered the offensive language.

“I can tell you unequivocally, my client denies that," Pollard told the NY Daily News. “He’s not Muslim.”

“He has many Black friends, and his brother is married to a Black woman,” Pollard also told the NY Daily News. “Nothing in his background makes me think he hates Black people or the LGBTQ people, and he denies that.”

Video of the incident shows Sibley and three other men wearing bathing suits while gassing up their vehicle. Sibley can be seen voguing along with one of the other men when a group of men by the station’s store entrance shout words at them. Sibley and his companions approach the group and words are exchanged. The conversation grows heated but breaks up after several minutes. Moments later the groups clash again, and a physical fight breaks out. Sibley is stabbed and staggers to a sidewalk where he collapses as his assailants disperse.

A memorial service was held on Tuesday for Sibley, with around 200 friends and family in attendance.

“O’Shae had the power to touch everyone’s heart, whoever met him,” Otis Pena, a close friend of Sibley’s who was at the gas station the night he was murdered, told the AP. at the service. “O’Shae was a beacon of light for a lot of us in our community.”

Friends of Sibley recalled a talented artist who used his craft to advocate for social change.

Director and choreographer Kemar Jewel told the NY Daily News Oshae had participated in several marches over the years.

“He also volunteered at dance studios to help teach folks,” Jewell recalled. “He volunteered at youth centers and he offered free classes and stuff. He definitely loved to give back.”

Popov faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted. He is due to appear in court to answer the indictments today.

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