Tuesday, December 16, 2014

St. Louis Bosnian woman who claimed hate crime charged with making false report


By Christine Byers
Dec. 16, 2014

ST. LOUIS • A Bosnian immigrant has been charged with making a false police report after claiming three black teenagers threatened to kill her in the Bevo Mill neighborhood because of her ethnicity.

Police said Monday that a surveillance video from a nearby business shows Seherzada Dzanic, 26, of the 4400 block of Gannett Street, just get out of her car and lie in the street shortly before a passing driver found her Dec. 5.


According to court documents, Dzanic said she made up the story because she was suffering from “emotional issues.”


Dotson said, “It doesn’t help the current climate when people use race as the basis to report crime; it further divides our community.” He added, “It’s important to send a strong message that when people manipulate the system, there are consequences.”

Assistant Circuit Attorney Ed Postawko agreed, saying, “That was a good seven to 10 days that could have been spent investigating real crimes.”


Dzanic’s report occurred in the same week that a group of black and Hispanic teens beat Zemir Begic, a Bosnian, to death with a hammer Nov. 30 near Gravois Avenue and Itaska Street.

Police said they have no evidence to show that Begic was targeted because of his ethnicity, although many in the community believe that he was.

Robert Joseph Mitchell, 17, was charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in Begic’s death. Three other suspects, one 15 and two 16, are in custody, and authorities are seeking to have them certified as adults in the crime.


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