A Brooklyn grand jury has charged and indicted the teenager who allegedly stabbed O’Shae Sibley while the professional dancer was voguing outside of the Bolla Market Mobile Station in Coney Island.
During a press conference Aug. 10, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced that 17-year-old Dmitriy Popov was indicted and charged with a count of second-degree murder as a hate crime for the dancer’s fatal stabbing.
Sibley, a Black gay man from Philadelphia, was a beloved dancer with the Ailey Extension dance company. Gonzalez said he believes the rising star was targeted because of his race and sexuality. According to the attorney, Popov allegedly hurled “anti-black and homophobic slurs” at Sibley as he was voguing to Beyoncé with a group of friends on July 29.
On Thursday, the legal aid vowed to seek justice for Sibley’s family. “We promised the family that we would have a vigorous and thorough prosecution to hold this offender who is 17 years old, accountable for his deadly deeds on that day. The entire community has been victimized by this senseless victimization of Mr. Sibley. This crime, while clearly impacting his family and loved ones, has impacted the entirety of Brooklyn and the entirety of the city.”
During the press conference, Gonzalez did not mention Popov’s name, but NYPD Police Chief Joseph Kenny announced that the teen was apprehended Aug. 4.
Detectives were able to identify Popov using surveillance footage that captured the fatal stabbing right outside of the Bolla Market Mobile Station on Coney Island Avenue and Avenue P.
According to the police Chief, Sibley and a group of friends were coming back from New Jersey when they stopped at the Mobile station for gas. As they waited to refuel their vehicle, the dancer and his crew began voguing to Beyoncé’s music outside of the car. Upset by the joyous occasion, Popov and a group of friends began taunting and harassing Sibley and his crew, shouting at them to stop dancing.
The 17-year-old allegedly shouted anti-black and homophobic slurs at the professional dancer and his friends, before the two groups came face to face in a heated verbal exchange. The confrontation quickly spiraled out of control, when Popov allegedly stabbed Sibley through the left side of his chest, puncturing his heart. The dancer was rushed to the hospital where he later died.
If convicted, Popov could face up to 20 years in prison for Sibley’s tragic death. The New York Post noted that Popov was a senior at The Professional Pathways Sheepshead High School, and had no prior history of arrests. The teen, who is Muslim, will be tried as an adult in the youth sector in the Supreme Court for the alleged attack, Gonzalez told reporters Thursday.
Sonya Ali, the executive director of the Muslim Community Center in Brooklyn, said she would be standing in solidarity with Sibley’s family and other community members impacted by the dancer’s tragic death.
“As Muslims, we are commanded to stand up for justice, even if it means standing against our own selves. We unequivocally condemn the unjust murder of O’Shae,” Ali said during a press conference at the Bolla Market Mobile Station Aug. 5. New York Mayor Eric Adams echoed similar sentiments.
“This is a city where you are free to express yourself, and that expression should never end with any form of violence,” the Mayor said. “We’re going to create an environment where the city is safe and one should be allowed to dance, to express themselves, to dress the way they want.”
Earlier this month, Beyoncé paid tribute to the late dancer on her website with a message that read, “REST IN POWER O’SHAE SIBLEY.”
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17-Year-Old Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder For Alleged Stabbing Of O’Shae Sibley was originally published on newsone.com
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