more people need to know about this, rest in peace Dayshen Mckenzie pic.twitter.com/o78wuXdyGE— maddy (@sensitivewitch) June 3, 2016
Dayshen McKenzie, a 16-year-old from Staten Island, NY, died from an apparent asthma attack after running to escape a group of teens who were shouting racial slurs and threatening to kill him and his friends.
According to The Root, McKenzie and six of his friends had an altercation with another group of teens at a burger joint over a girl.
Harris Smith, 19, who witnessed the incident, said that after the dispute the other group left but then returned to the scene in cars and allegedly carrying a gun.
A chase ensued through nearby neighborhoods as McKenzie and his friends ran in fear while members of the other group reportedly shouted threats such as, “I’m gonna shoot you n*gger!”
According to Smith, the group that chased them consisted only of white and Hispanic teens.
“The sadness turns to anger,” Dayshen’s mom, Tisha Richardson, reportedly told the New York Daily News. “I want justice for him. Somebody should be held accountable.”
Richardson said her son had forgotten his asthma inhaler at home when he went out that night.
McKenzie was hiding in a shed in someone’s backyard as the chase carried on. This is where his respiratory condition got the best of him and he collapsed.
“To me it’s murder,” Diane Fatigati, an ex-New York City police officer who tried to save the boy, reportedly said. “They were chasing him—that’s a crime. You’re hunting them because they’re black. … You’re calling them a n*gger.”
Fatigati spotted two of McKenzie’s friends dragging him out of the shed after he fell unconscious. She saw them throwing water on him before she stepped in to try to resuscitate him.
She was able to revive McKenzie twice, but he kept losing consciousness. He was later pronounced dead at Richmond University Medical Center.
While the official cause of death from the medical examiner is still pending, his pre-existing asthma and heart condition coupled with the running and fear from the events of the night likely led to his demise.
“He was such a good kid,” Richardson said remembering her son. “He would walk up to me and say, ‘Can I get a hug?’ He was just that kind of kid. Anything he wanted to do, he would do.”
McKenzie’s death is sad, to say the least. The infuriating part is the fact that this other group of teens would harass McKenzie and his friends so relentlessly. Disagreements are normal, but several boundaries were completely crossed when they involved a firearm and made the dispute racial.
So far, no arrests have been made and no charges filed surrounding this tragic incident.
Banner Photo Credit: Facebook, Oswego BSU