This is horrific!!!
Investigators are searching for four white men who allegedly sprayed a Black teen with lighter fluid at a stoplight, lighting her face and neck unstoppable and calling her the N-word before speeding off. This, based on police reports in Madison, Wisconsin, where in fact the girl — an 18-year-old EMT — was dealing with second and third-degree burns off.
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The young woman, Althea Bernstein, was driving to her brother’s friend’s home at about 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday when she approached a red light and stopped, according to the police report. She had her window down, and looked to look when somebody at the light called her the N-word. When she turned to look, one man in the vehicle next to her sprayed lighter fluid in her face, and tossed a flaming lighter at her.
Bernstein drove herself to her mother’s home after which the local hospital for treatment. Medical staffers there determined lighter fluid to function as the case of the burns off (you is able to see pictures here). Bernstein is recovering in the home right now, but she will apparently need to make further doctor’s visits to keep to be treated on her behalf injuries.
Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County and a spokesman for the Bernstein family, spoke to the media about the incident on Thursday. He told BuzzFeed News (below):
“It’s totally unacceptable given precisely what is going on this country. It’s just unacceptable behavior that we’re not going to tolerate. [Bernstein’s parents] just wanted to ensure that their daughter heals out of this. The mother, she just wants to ensure that her daughter heals and is OKAY.”
In another statement delivered to the media, Bernstein’s family added:
“Our family is saddened at what happened to Althea and the unprovoked attack on her body.”
Such a horrifying and traumatic thing to have to undergo, especially at such a young age!
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Police are now taking a look at surveillance pictures and security camera videos in the area to see if anything was caught on tape. They have not yet released any description of suspects apart from noting Bernstein’s eyewitness declare that there were allegedly four white men in the car when she was accosted.
What a terrifying, despicable, racist act. Here’s hoping Althea can recover from this terrible incident and continue steadily to live her life fully healthy and completely happy yet again soon.