Brooklyn Teen Charged With Hate Crime In Killing Of O'Shae Sibley
O'Shae Sibley was voguing to Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album when Dmitriy Popov began spewing racist, homophobic slurs at him before allegedly fatally stabbing him in the chest.
Dmitriy Popov, a 17-year-old from Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, has been charged with a hate crime in the murder of O’Shae Sibley, a Black, gay dancer who was fatally stabbed shortly after 11 p.m. on July 29, 2023, reported PEOPLE. The tragedy occurred when Sibley and four of his friends were on their way home from visiting the beach, and they decided to have a little fun after they stopped at a gas station along the way.
When Sibley and his friends stopped to get gas, they stretched their legs and listened to Beyoncé’s “Renaissance” album. One friend started dancing, doing the vogue, then Popov and two other men exited the gas station. The men approached Sibley and his friends while they spewed homophobic, racist insults at the celebrating friends.
According to a press release from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, Sibley attempted to diffuse the situation and calm things down. He and his friends responded by essentially saying, “You don’t know us, we’re just having a good time and enjoying our lives. It’s all respect, we’re allowed to be here just like you.”
Popov’s companions left at some point after this, but he remained. He recorded Sibley and his friends on his cell phone and allegedly kept saying hateful remarks to them. When Sibley and a couple of his friends finally confronted Popov about the hate, Popov pulled out a knife and allegedly stabbed Sibley on the side of his chest. This fatal wound punctured his heart, and he was officially pronounced dead only a short time later at Maimonides Hospital.
District Attorney Eric Gonzalez observed how Sibley’s death sparked massive outrage and grief. “This crime, while clearly impacting his family and loved ones, has impacted the entirety of Brooklyn, the entirety of the city and I dare say the entire nation,” he said, reported The New York Times.
Popov was arraigned in court on an indictment for second-degree murder as a hate crime, second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime, first-degree manslaughter, fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon, and related counts. He was held without bail.
Popov’s defense attorney Mark Henry Pollard said his client is not guilty. He stated that Popov feels remorse for what happened but might claim self-defense, according to CNN.
Because of the elevated hate crime charge, Popov will be sentenced to between 20 and 25 years to life in prison. He is next expected to appear in court on Oct. 10.