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A Shocking Account Of A Racist Attack In North London, Told In 38 Tweets

And a "callous" police response. Contains NSFW language.

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On Friday 16 May, author Sunny Singh was walking home with her brother and a friend, and experienced a racially aggravated assault.

Last night, @TheBuddhaSmiled and I were followed home by a man who was initially shouting sexual and gendered abuses. He then got aggressive

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Last night, @TheBuddhaSmiled and I were followed home by a man who was initially shouting sexual and gendered abuses. He then got aggressive

6:15 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

We were speaking in Hindi and the man shouted as "to speak in English. This is England." He continued to follow us and get more aggressive

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

We were speaking in Hindi and the man shouted as "to speak in English. This is England." He continued to follow us and get more aggressive

6:16 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

We asked him repeatedly to leave us alone. He told us that he would follow us. @TheBuddhaSmiled tried to calm him down

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

We asked him repeatedly to leave us alone. He told us that he would follow us. @TheBuddhaSmiled tried to calm him down

6:17 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

She then called the police.

After about ten minutes of being harassed and because he kept reaching for his back and under his jumper, I got worried and called 999

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

After about ten minutes of being harassed and because he kept reaching for his back and under his jumper, I got worried and called 999

6:18 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

While I was speaking to 999, the man decided to attack @TheBuddhaSmiled, following it up with more shouts of 'Paki'

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

While I was speaking to 999, the man decided to attack @TheBuddhaSmiled, following it up with more shouts of 'Paki'

6:20 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

At this point @TheBuddhaSmiled was physically putting himself between me and another female friend and this man was spewing abuses

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

At this point @TheBuddhaSmiled was physically putting himself between me and another female friend and this man was spewing abuses

6:18 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

He then began to run away, and @TheBuddhaSmiled followed him a few yards to see if he was really leaving or if he would come back

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

He then began to run away, and @TheBuddhaSmiled followed him a few yards to see if he was really leaving or if he would come back

6:21 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

When the police arrived, Singh found them to be unhelpful.

The @metpoliceuk arrived at this point. then began the WORST part of the night. They treated @TheBuddhaSmiled, me +my friend like criminals

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

The @metpoliceuk arrived at this point. then began the WORST part of the night. They treated @TheBuddhaSmiled, me +my friend like criminals

6:21 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Even though her brother had been attacked.

Even though @TheBuddhaSmiled was bleeding profusely from his mouth (his lip is getting stitches), @metpoliceuk demanded he get in the car

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Even though @TheBuddhaSmiled was bleeding profusely from his mouth (his lip is getting stitches), @metpoliceuk demanded he get in the car

6:22 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

The police asked Singh and her friend to wait while they searched for the attacker.

My friend +I were both women, standing yards from where the attack took place but @metpoliceuk officer told us to stay there and wait

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

My friend +I were both women, standing yards from where the attack took place but @metpoliceuk officer told us to stay there and wait

6:24 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

. @metpoliceuk officer got very aggressive when we said we didnt want to stay on the street waiting as two women alone minutes after attack

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

. @metpoliceuk officer got very aggressive when we said we didnt want to stay on the street waiting as two women alone minutes after attack

6:24 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Singh was concerned for their safety.

We said we were concerned about our safety+ @metpoliceuk officer said: "it is a lighted spot." Even though the attack had taken place there

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

We said we were concerned about our safety+ @metpoliceuk officer said: "it is a lighted spot." Even though the attack had taken place there

6:26 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

. @metpoliceuk officer got out of the car and said "let's do it your way. We will wait with you and the man (who attacked) will get away"

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

. @metpoliceuk officer got out of the car and said "let's do it your way. We will wait with you and the man (who attacked) will get away"

6:26 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

We asked @metpoliceuk officer if we could go in the car with @TheBuddhaSmiled while they looked for the attacker. Again officer was v rude

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

We asked @metpoliceuk officer if we could go in the car with @TheBuddhaSmiled while they looked for the attacker. Again officer was v rude

6:28 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

. @metpoliceuk said their insurance didnt cover three people in back seat while blue light was on...or something along those lines

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

. @metpoliceuk said their insurance didnt cover three people in back seat while blue light was on...or something along those lines

6:29 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

So my friend + I waited on the street, yards from where we had faced racially aggravated assault while @TheBuddhaSmiled went w @metpoliceuk

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

So my friend + I waited on the street, yards from where we had faced racially aggravated assault while @TheBuddhaSmiled went w @metpoliceuk

6:30 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I will let @TheBuddhaSmiled explain his experience but @metpoliceuk were very rude to him as well simply because he was in shock +confused

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

I will let @TheBuddhaSmiled explain his experience but @metpoliceuk were very rude to him as well simply because he was in shock +confused

6:31 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Obviously they did not find the attacker and @metpoliceuk came back about ten minutes later with @TheBuddhaSmiled who was still bleeding

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Obviously they did not find the attacker and @metpoliceuk came back about ten minutes later with @TheBuddhaSmiled who was still bleeding

6:32 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

She found the officer to be "aggressive".

The @metpoliceuk officer continued being very aggressive, at one point saying that we were distracting resources from 'hot spots.'

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

The @metpoliceuk officer continued being very aggressive, at one point saying that we were distracting resources from 'hot spots.'

6:33 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And felt like they were being treated like criminals.

Finally, I said that I didn't understand why @metpoliceuk were treating us like criminals when we were actually the victims of a crime?

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Finally, I said that I didn't understand why @metpoliceuk were treating us like criminals when we were actually the victims of a crime?

6:33 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Through out this time, @TheBuddhaSmiled was bleeding in the @metpoliceuk car while my friend and I waited outside on the street

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Through out this time, @TheBuddhaSmiled was bleeding in the @metpoliceuk car while my friend and I waited outside on the street

6:35 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Singh says the police accused them of being drunk.

At various points @metpoliceuk were really aggressive and telling us that we were drunk (we weren't - we had been dancing at Kali!)

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

At various points @metpoliceuk were really aggressive and telling us that we were drunk (we weren't - we had been dancing at Kali!)

6:37 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Finally we asked @metpoliceuk officers if we could get @TheBuddhaSmiled to the hospital. That is when they started to calm down

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Finally we asked @metpoliceuk officers if we could get @TheBuddhaSmiled to the hospital. That is when they started to calm down

6:38 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I assumed that my friend and I would walk to the hospital and we'd be grateful if @metpoliceuk could give @TheBuddhaSmiled a ride to AnE

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

I assumed that my friend and I would walk to the hospital and we'd be grateful if @metpoliceuk could give @TheBuddhaSmiled a ride to AnE

6:39 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

But then @metpoliceuk said because it was not an 'emergency' my friend and I could get in the back seat and be driven to hospital

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

But then @metpoliceuk said because it was not an 'emergency' my friend and I could get in the back seat and be driven to hospital

6:40 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

In the car, @metpoliceuk took our 'statements.' They told us that racial crimes were a priority. I would like to believe that but I doubt it

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

In the car, @metpoliceuk took our 'statements.' They told us that racial crimes were a priority. I would like to believe that but I doubt it

6:41 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Singh felt there was no understanding of how she was feeling.

At no point was there ANY understanding from @metpoliceuk that we had just experienced racial abuse and physical violence and were in shock

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

At no point was there ANY understanding from @metpoliceuk that we had just experienced racial abuse and physical violence and were in shock

6:42 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Instead @metpoliceuk treated us like criminals, demanding information, telling us we were imprecise (by a few yards), ignoring what we said

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Instead @metpoliceuk treated us like criminals, demanding information, telling us we were imprecise (by a few yards), ignoring what we said

6:43 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Given their attitude and behaviour last night, I have trouble believing that racial crimes are of any importance to @metpoliceuk

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Given their attitude and behaviour last night, I have trouble believing that racial crimes are of any importance to @metpoliceuk

6:45 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

So @TheBuddhaSmiled is in the AnE, waiting - after 3+ hours - to get stitches. He is not badly hurt physically but racial abuse always hurts

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

So @TheBuddhaSmiled is in the AnE, waiting - after 3+ hours - to get stitches. He is not badly hurt physically but racial abuse always hurts

6:47 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

It was the first time she had faced racial violence in London.

I have lived in #London for years but this is the only time I have faced racial violence. Attribute it to normalisation of racist discourse

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

I have lived in #London for years but this is the only time I have faced racial violence. Attribute it to normalisation of racist discourse

6:49 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

And she was grateful for the love of her brother.

Also I saw today that made me EXTREMELY grateful: @TheBuddhaSmiled physically put himself between me and harm. Amazing to be loved like that

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Also I saw today that made me EXTREMELY grateful: @TheBuddhaSmiled physically put himself between me and harm. Amazing to be loved like that

6:50 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Let me make it very clear: no @metpoliceuk officer was racist in overt ways. But their behaviour was callous, aggressive and rude

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

Let me make it very clear: no @metpoliceuk officer was racist in overt ways. But their behaviour was callous, aggressive and rude

7:23 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

@theBuddhaSmiled then tweeted.

Hey @NW3 can we talk about racially aggravated assaults in our neighbourhood please?

The Buddha Smiled@TheBuddhaSmiled

Hey @NW3 can we talk about racially aggravated assaults in our neighbourhood please?

5:14 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Last night I was called a"Paki cunt" before being punched in the face. In Belsize Park. So much for a racially diverse London.

The Buddha Smiled@TheBuddhaSmiled

Last night I was called a"Paki cunt" before being punched in the face. In Belsize Park. So much for a racially diverse London.

5:56 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

This is what happens when you normalise racial hatred in mainstream media - people like me get attacked while walking home in London.

The Buddha Smiled@TheBuddhaSmiled

This is what happens when you normalise racial hatred in mainstream media - people like me get attacked while walking home in London.

4:26 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

I am angry, I am hurt and I am not going to take this kind of shit lying down. Fuck you, racism: you're not going to get the best if me.

The Buddha Smiled@TheBuddhaSmiled

I am angry, I am hurt and I am not going to take this kind of shit lying down. Fuck you, racism: you're not going to get the best if me.

5:58 AM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Singh's twitter handle trended in the United Kingdom on Saturday morning.

For the saddest reason I could imagine RT @TrendsUK: Sunny Singh, @sunnysingh_nw3 is now trending in United Kingdom http://t.co/vVbGU5YUDa

Sunny Singh@sunnysingh_nw3

For the saddest reason I could imagine RT @TrendsUK: Sunny Singh, @sunnysingh_nw3 is now trending in United Kingdom http://t.co/vVbGU5YUDa

2:29 PM - 17 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Correction 18 May 2014 10.00 GMT

And earlier version of this article referred to @theBuddhasmiled as a friend of Singh's. He is Singh's brother.

Update: 17 May 2014, 19:00 GMT

A Met Police spokesman told BuzzFeed:

"Police were called by members of the public who alleged they were being threatened by a man in the street at approximately 0330hrs on Saturday, 17 May, in Fleet Road NW3.

The man then assaulted a male (victim 1) who was with the group and racially abused him. Police arrived at the scene and took the victim in a patrol car to try and find the suspect. Officers could not find the suspect.

The victim was taken back to the scene of the assault. The group - a man (victim 1) and two women - were then taken to a north London hospital by the officers where the victim was treated.

No arrests have been made at this stage. Enquiries continue. This is being treated as a racially aggravated assault.

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) is committed to tackling hate crime in all its forms and has long since recognised the impact of hate crime on communities and is leading nationally in developing our understanding of different communities and their victimisation."

Update: 18 May 2014, 10.00 GMT

Singh told BuzzFeed in an email:

"I am deeply disappointed in the Met police after the events. I moved to London soon after 7/7 and the policing style and attitudes were key to that decision. I have had only a couple of interactions with the police since then, mostly for quite minor things like having my purse stolen and always found them professional, courteous and unfailingly helpful. So I feel quite heartbroken by the response on Friday.

At the incident, the two officers assumed that citizens should be familiar with their protocols and standard operating procedures and did not explain anything or try to inform us. I feel they worked on the assumption that anyone calling for help on a Friday night is a drunk nuisance and while I realise that there is a good chance that may be true. However it also means that they didn't handle a racist, violent incident very well.

As a law abiding citizen, I have minimal interaction with the police and in fact, only interact with them when I am in a situation of distress and need their assistance. I feel they failed me on Friday night...I do feel they could have handled the situation better and the starting point for that would be to not assume everyone calling for help on a Friday night is a drunk nuisance. I also feel that they should not have assumed that we are familiar with their protocols. So instead of demanding and ordering, they could have just taken thirty seconds to explain what they needed to do."

Singh continued:

"We have not lodged a formal complaint yet as we are still trying to process what happened. It is the first incident of its type we have faced. None of us have ever faced racially motivated or aggravated physical violence and we have been left reeling. It is also a quite discomfiting that we have not heard from the police since Friday night.

But more importantly, for me this is not about disciplining officers or 'making a fuss.' For me this is really about trying to ensure that the next person who may be in a similar situation and perhaps more vulnerable than us is not treated this way. So this is really about structural changes such as training and protocols for sensitively responding to victims of crime."

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