A jury was selected for the trial of Nicholas Minucci, who was charged with a bias attack after beating a black man in Howard Beach last June. The jury includes four whites, four blacks, three Hispanics, and one Asian, but more interesting is how the jury was selected and how the defense seems to be approaching the trial. Prosecutors charged Minucci with a hate crime because he said, "What up n-----" during his attack on Glenn Moore (Moore suffered a fractured skull from the beating administered by Minucci and his friends in the middle of the night). The NY Times says Minucci's defense "is expected to suggest that a young man growing up in a mixed neighborhood in New York City uses 'the N word' as a matter of course and that the word no longer carries the racially charged overtones it has historically." The defense asked potential jurors if they were offended by the "n word" while prosecutors asked the jury pool if they listened to rap music. Minucci's mother Maria said the trial was a way for the Queens DA to get publicity and said of the word of the day, "Every kid in the neighborhood uses it. It doesn't mean the same thing anymore. They all say it all day long, no matter what race. They all grow up saying it now... All of Nick's friends — black, white, Spanish, Chinese — they all use the word. You should hear when they talk on the phone to him in jail. "
Minucci, who has been described as having a "blingy" lifestyle, was a no-show during Tuesday's jury proceedings - he refused to leave solitary confinement in his Rockland County jail. And after the attack, it was revealed that Minucci had beaten a Sikh man after September 11, saying, "F---ing Arab! Why don't blow this up!"