City Condemns Racist Attack Caught on Video Downtown

The Reno Police Department is seeking more information about the encounter between this unidentified woman and an actor with Motown the Musical.
The Reno Police Department is seeking more information about the encounter between this unidentified woman and an actor with Motown the Musical.

The City of Reno is condemning racial slurs and an alleged assault caught on video by an actor for the show “Motown The Musical.”

Elijah Ahmad Lewis said that he was physically assaulted and repeatedly called a “nigger” by an unidentified woman yesterday in downtown Reno.

A video he posted on Facebook does not show the whole encounter, but the woman is shown repeatedly calling Lewis names, and approaching him, as he appears to walk away from her. The video his embedded below.

Lewis said he originally tried to ignore the woman and was physically and verbally assaulted by her before he started recording the encounter on his phone.

The city issued a statement condemning the attack.

The City of Reno does not condone the behavior that is demonstrated in the video that was posted earlier today on Facebook by a “Motown the Musical” performer who is visiting Reno. The City of Reno embraces diversity and welcomes visitors.

If anyone has any information regarding the incident please contact Reno Police Department Detectives at 775-334-2188 or Secret Witness at 775-322-4900,, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword – SW.

“Today was really an eye-opener,” Lewis said. “I’m fine, and I am okay.”

Many community members are also condemning the woman’s actions and are encouraging people to go see the musical in support of Lewis. The musical runs through Jan. 29, 2017 at the Pioneer Center. Information:

UPDATE: Facebook deleted Lewis’ video, and he reposted it on Youtube. Watch it below.

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About Bob Conrad 898 Articles
Bob Conrad is co-founder of ThisisReno. He manages ThisisReno and Conrad Communications, LLC, his marketing communications consulting company (disclosure: he has two part-time contracts working for the University of Nevada, Reno). He is a part-time faculty member at Truckee Meadows Community College and is a regular contributor to Reno Public Radio.


  1. One of the reasons I moved to the west was to escape the racism in the south. I have been out west for 27 years and in Reno for 20. I don’t know anyone like this and am disgusted by this woman’s actions. I hope they prosecute her for battery and a hare crime. Ignorance is never ok.

  2. Oh my goodness! What an ugly person that woman is. I am so sorry to see any child of God treated this way. It is an eye opener as you say that people right here in our city of Reno in 2017 can behave with such hate and stupidity. Thank you for sharing your beautiful message with such kindness because we needed to hear it. We do need to always keep our world in our prayers. My home is open to you and your friends. Please join my family for a home cooked meal any night while you are in town! Just tell me how many to set the table for! Lots of love and prayers to you!

    • I cannot agree more. Such ugliness that I am so sorry you had to be victim to. Glad you are safe. Will def make plans to support you in Motown! Take care!

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