PBSO says race, religion not involved in viral Boca Raton fight involving high school girls

BOCA RATON, Fla. - It’s the video that has sparked outrage around the nation. 

In it, a group of girls can be seen beating up 14-year-old Manaal Munshi in South County Park in Boca Raton last Thursday. 

The girls father Shakeel posted the video on Facebook and it went viral - gathering 2.7 million views - among claims from Shakeel that his daughter was attacked because she was Muslim. 

He spoke to NewsChannel 5 in a Skype interview last Friday.

“Sometimes she used to say they made fun of her that she’s Muslim or she’s a terrorist,” he says. 

But for the second time, the Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office pushed back against those claims Wednesday, saying there is no evidence race or religion sparked that attack.

NewsChannel 5 also learned a few more details about the investigation. 

PBSO detectives believe the dispute may have been over a quote “suggestive” video shared on social media. 

Manaal admitted to investigators she agreed to meet with the girls at the park, and that she just wanted to talk about the situation. 

The girls told Manaal that they were going to fight. 

Also - investigators say Manaal’s mother did know that the girls were meeting up at the park, but didn’t necessarily know they were going to fight. 

She even showed up at the park - but then she left before the fight started. 

“So far we think the Palm Beach County sheriffs office is handling it appropriately,” says Omar Saleh with the Council on American Islamic Relations.

“Whether this has to do with race or religion, we’re going to leave that up to the state attorney’s office.”

Saleh says the father’s claim that she’s been bullied at school in the past shouldn’t be discounted. 

For now, he’s relieved that those responsible have been identified. 

“The fact is that this teenager was beaten, for whatever reason it is, they’re being held responsible and that’s acceptable

All three of the girls identified in the video could face simple battery charges.

Once the investigation is complete, it will be submitted to the state attorneys office. 

NewsChannel 5 did reach out to dad to get reaction on Wednesday to the new details from PBSO, but he didn’t return our calls.

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