Filmmaker beaten; police consider hate crime

March 7, 2011

Associated Press

A filmmaker shooting a documentary about the treatment of Arabs in the U.S. claims he was beaten by men who called him racial epithets after he wandered uninvited into an Iowa house party.

Fairfield Police Chief Julie Harvey said Monday that officers found Usama Alshaibi bleeding from his forehead and nose, and believe he was assaulted. She says her department is treating the report as a hate crime and searching for assailants. Alshaibi says he was repeatedly punched and kicked by four men early Sunday after he walked into the party in Fairfield, where he moved last year. He says the men called him an epithet used to refer to Arabs as well as "Osama bin Laden."

Alshaibi is a former Vocalo and Chicago Public Media employee. He's producing a film called "American Arab" for Chicago-based Kartemquin Films.