SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A man robbed at gunpoint in Savannah said he may have been the victim of a hate crime.
He doesn't believe he was personally targeted, but he told WTOC race may have been a factor.
"One of them was like trying to rub it in my face, like, 'Yeah, we're better than you because we're black.' And I feel like all people are created equal," said Brandon, the victim. Brandon's last name is being withheld for safety concerns.
Around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, the 19-year-old was walking home near Gwinnett and Barnard Streets. As he approached an alley, he saw three men pull up beside him in a car.
"And they all got out of the car with white bandanas and pointed all three of their guns at me and told me to give them everything I was carrying," he said.
He feels he was targeted because he looked vulnerable.
"Right here, they made me get on the ground after they took everything from me," said Brandon.
But he was surprised by what he heard next.
"They said at least three or four times something about 'black power,'" said the victim.
Technically, a hate crime is defined as a "criminal offense...motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against a race, religion, disability, ethnic origin or sexual orientation."
Savanna-Chatham Metro Police Department is investigating the incident as a robbery, and that the District Attorney's office would classify investigations as hate crimes.
The DA has not returned WTOC's calls at this time.
Regardless of its classification though, Brandon said he's shaken up and sees the city in a new light.
"It's really waking me up to realize that Savannah's not as safe as you think it is," said Brandon.
The three men took Brandon's phone, wallet, and keys before taking off.
Police are still searching for those suspects.