West Boca Girl Fight and Phony Outrage

Image from the fight in South County Park

Last week we shared a Facebook video of a fight in South County Regional Park. The video had been posted by Shakeel Munshi and a reader tagged us in a comment.
The video shows his daughter being hit by two or three other girls while several other kids watch. Mr. Munshi’s post claims that she “was getting bullied … because she was Muslim.” In his original post (before he edited it) he also claimed that it happened at West Boca High School, that his daughter was wearing an anti-bullying t-shirt, and that she did not fight back.
Mr. Munshi’s Facebook video now has over 2.7 million views. It went viral because of his lies and that led to a surge of phony outrage from around the world. We received numerous comments, negative reviews, threats, etc. from just about everywhere. The City of Boca Raton and their police department were wrongly targeted by this mob, even though the incident happened outside city lines and had nothing to do with them. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office and the school district were also besieged by the mob.
The father’s lies contributed to all of this. First of all as we learned from numerous sources and now confirmed by the Sheriff’s investigation, this had nothing to do with religion. The Sheriff’s office sent out an update this morning:

PBSO deputy met with West Boca Raton High School officials and confirmed the identity of all the suspects involved. The suspects and their families have been interviewed. All participants agreed the fight was over “a boy” and “a video that was circulated”. All parties AGREED to meet and to fight and a specific location and time. PBSO Deputy is preparing paperwork to charge the suspects involved with Simple Battery. Once complete, the investigation will be submitted to the state attorney’s office. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF A HATE CRIME.

It should be noted that generally the police and schools are required to protect the privacy of minors. We do not expect that they will publicize the kids’ names, the specific charges filed against them, nor the results of any court proceedings or school discipline. It is also unclear whether the “victim” will also be charged since the evidence indicates she agreed to meet and fight and there is video evidence of her fighting.
Among other lies, the father’s claim that she was wearing an anti-bullying t-shirt was obviously false. In the video you can easily see that she’s wearing a Bulls Football t-shirt. The West Boca High football team is known as The Bulls.

Munshi wearing a Bulls Football t-shirt

He has since edited his post to remove that claim.
He continues to maintain in his post that his daughter did not raise a hand to fight back: “She didn’t picked up a hand because don’t want to fight back.”
This is also a lie as demonstrated in a video showing a different angle of the fight:

If you look at Munshi’s video post again, you can see that the video was edited. It starts after the beginning of the above video so you don’t see her fighting back. And it also leaves out a portion between when his daughter is on the ground and gets back up. We still do not have a full video of this incident so we don’t know what really happened – and neither does the horde of trolls, social justice warriors, etc.
Another lie was the original claim that it happened at West Boca High. Anyone familiar with the school would recognize from the video that it was not on school grounds. We are told this happened in nearby South County Regional Park but we still haven’t gotten a straight answer as to where this was in the park. And his claim that all girls were from West Boca High appears to be inaccurate as at least one of the other girls is reportedly a student at Olympic Heights High School.
Mr. Munshi even misled us about his own location, offering to meet with us at his home in West Boca. But from an NBC Miami report he wasn’t even in the country at the time.
We have published a number of teen fight videos over the past few years. None of them got this much attention, but none of them made phony claims of racism or religious bias.
Some of our sources indicate that Ms. Munshi was bullying one or more of the other girls in the video. At the same time we have another source that tells us one of those other girls has a history of misconduct. Again, we don’t know what the truth is. And neither does the unruly online mob.
One key ingredient to the video’s virality is the depiction of Ms. Munshi as a completely innocent victim. Any suggestion that she was at all responsible for anything that happened, regardless of its truth, was met by a rage from the online mob.
The simple reality of this incident is that it wasn’t much different from the other fight videos we’ve shown. It does not appear that Ms. Munshi was seriously injured. There was no report that she was taken to a hospital or even that she needed to see a doctor. The “simple battery” charge mentioned by the Sheriff means no serious injuries. Had there been serious injuries the charge would have been aggravated battery.
One big difference noted by many is that three girls were hitting Ms. Munshi, rather than it being a one-on-one fight. Everyone agrees that this was wrong. Everyone agrees that the fight itself was wrong. But any questions raised about Mr. Munshi’s lies or the “innocent victim’s” role led to false claims that the questioner supported violence. This is, of course, nonsense. It is a common ploy for political partisans of all stripes to use (or manufacture) an innocent victim in order to support whatever agenda fits their goals.
What’s particularly disturbing to us is how this incident has painted West Boca High kids as racist or prejudiced. We know a lot of kids in West Boca including the area high schools and younger kids. It is our general experience that they are almost entirely unbiased when it comes to race, religion, LGBTQ issues, etc., and certainly less biased than many adults in the community, in the country, and around the world.
The biggest social issue they confront is the stark contrast between rich and poor that one sees in Boca Raton, with some kids living in multi-million dollar mansions in gated communities while others live in trailer parks. The kids seem to handle that well too. There’s also the gifted vs. non-gifted classification in the elementary and middle schools, which translates into Honors and AP classes for the gifted kids and regular classes for the non-gifted. Again in our experience the kids handle this pretty well.
It should be noted that some in the online mob asserted that West Boca News was biased in some way, in particular biased in favor of the Sheriff or the school district. Anyone who actually follows us knows that we have had significant disagreements with both over the past several years.
Our two most popular videos on the West Boca News YouTube channel are of confrontations with PBSO:

We have also been publicly critical of the school district, especially Superintendent Avossa.

Author: Warren Redlich

Warren Redlich is a real estate agent and an attorney. He focuses on selling homes in West Boca Raton. Find out more at Yes Boca Real Estate.

10 thoughts on “West Boca Girl Fight and Phony Outrage”

  1. “We know a lot of kids in West Boca including the area high schools and younger kids. It is our general experience that they are almost entirely unbiased when it comes to race, religion, LGBTQ issues, etc.”
    Unfortunately the author loses a lot of credibility right here. It may be his, and others, opinion that the West Boca kids are “almost entirely unbiased” but without more knowledge about his own cultural frame of reference, it’s impossible to give any real validity to the claim. Speaking from a standpoint of pure common sense, I think it is pretty rare for anyone, let alone teenagers from an incredibly homogenous environment, be “almost entirely unbiased.”
    Similarly, while the parties involved, the PBSO and this news outlet are all now pushing the story that this was over a boy, it’s impossible to know how much the girl’s race or religion played into this or on what level. While the father’s attempt to manipulate the optics of the incident may have been overzealous, the defensiveness in this article seems a bit overdone as well and even a bit condescending towards the intelligence of the reader.
    Regardless of the back story of the video, what we see is pretty clear. A savage beating being delivered, perpetrated by members of one race on another. People don’t like seeing this kind of thing and the reaction to it is unsurprising. This is an opportunity to have a thoughtful discussion about the conditions of race relations in your community, but your blanket dismissal of that conversation makes your claims of a community that is “almost entirely unbiased when it comes to race, religion, LGBTQ issues” seem pretty unlikely.

    1. “it’s impossible to know how much the girl’s race or religion played into this or on what level”
      Of course it’s impossible to know. However we have an awful lot of sources telling us exactly what PBSO is saying, that this was over a boy. And more, that the alleged victim was actually bullying one or more of the girls on social media. Two sources tell us she was sending inappropriate pictures of one of the girls.
      Moreover we have no credible sources saying this was based on race or religion. The only source is the father, who demonstrated a complete lack of credibility.
      “A savage beating being delivered”
      This is a common theme from people commenting. The “victim” did not go to a hospital and apparently didn’t even see a doctor. The injuries, if any, were so minor that PBSO is charging it as simple battery rather than aggravated battery.
      It was a beating. It was wrong. The three-on-one was wrong. All of these details are so obvious they don’t need to be said, except in a world of snowflakes who need constant reassurance of things that are obvious to everyone else.
      “It may be his, and others, opinion that the West Boca kids are “almost entirely unbiased” but without more knowledge about his own cultural frame of reference, it’s impossible to give any real validity to the claim.”
      That’s a completely empty criticism. It’s also impossible to accept your dispute as to validity without knowing YOUR frame of reference.
      My frame of reference is that I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s when there were a lot more overt biases and they were considered far more acceptable. At the same time people still had a sense of humor. Nowadays it seems like the only people who can take a joke are the Irish, God bless ’em!

    2. My brother and I went to West Boca high and still live in the area. Both of us are NOT biased about race, religion etc. It has nothing to do with the West Boca area, it’s based on how the kids are raised. But I guess the common sense that my brother and I have when we were growing up was “rare”

  2. This Article is incorrect because I saw the news interview of the girls father and he said his daughter was in the hospital. This article says she wasn’t. Those girls that beat her do need to have criminal charges. This news is very biased and they are writing incorrect information. Even I could report more honest and correct information than this. The news keeps blaming the victims father for everything. Seems like the girls that bullied have paid off West Boca News. What a shameful and false article above. Totally incorrect information. I also saw the victims father interview saying the victim would get anti-Muslim texts so it is a hate crime. Those girls that beat the victim need to be in jail and expelled!!!

  3. I agree with Lawrence, but I would add one more aspect that I found particularly disturbing. So many cell phones filming and too few hands helping to stop the violence….
    West Boca High has it’s work cut out for them and people are watching.

  4. Warren Redlich is a real estate agent. His overriding concern is to increase the value of real estate in West Boca. Justice is not something that concerns him. His entire blog should be read, if at all, with these facts in mind.

    1. If my overriding concern was increasing local real estate values then I wouldn’t report on crime at all. Try again.
      Any interest I have in real estate values is driven more by the substantial investment in my own home than by my work as a real estate agent, which is a small part of my income.

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