"The View" co-host and ABC News legal correspondent Sunny Hostin says her family and guests were targeted for racial harassment while spending Independence Day in Sag Harbor.
On a live edition of her ABC daytime panel-discussion program, Hostin, 49, said her family had rented a beachfront home in a historically African-American part of the East End village. "And we were there celebrating and some kids, about 20 of them, ran in front of our home and started yelling the [racial slur] at us. … They said, 'This is America, we are patriots, this is our holiday.' Things like that." She added, "They broke my paddleboard. I mean, they were kind of violent."
Hostin, an attorney, told her fellow co-hosts she filed a police report. "The police were wonderful," she said. "They responded [and] they were just as outraged as we were."
"She called in a police report referencing fireworks and foul language" at 10:22 p.m. on July 4, a spokeswoman for the Sag Harbor Police Dept. told Newsday. Two officers responded. "Upon arrival she was interviewed and said that while she was in her yard with a guest a group of teenagers walked past on the beach using foul language. Officers checked the surrounding area with negative results" and completed the report at 11:04 p.m. There is no current investigation.
When asked if Hostin had told police the teens had used a particular racial epithet, the spokeswoman said, "The report doesn't say. She may have said that, but this is what the report says."
"The African-American community does have this feeling … because African-Americans weren't emancipated on July Fourth, [that we] weren't independent then,” Hostin, who is married with two children, said of Independence Day. "But this [traditionally African-American] area is supposed to be a safe haven. It's a place of pride and we found out later they targeted us specifically because of that community." She said she believed the harassers came "from outside of the area. … Some from [New] Jersey, some from other parts of Long Island. … It was shocking that in this day and age that happened to us in that place."
Co-host Whoopi Goldberg, addressing the audience, said, "We are Americans. We are all here together. You can yell the [racial slur] as much as you want, because it's not going to change the fact that we're here, white people are here, yellow people are here. We're here. This is our country, my friends. and you can yell as much as you want and if you don't know your homework, you kind of look a little stupid."
Hostin has not commented further on social media.