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October 30, 2014 / 6 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘hate crime’

When Knockout Victim Is Black, Attacker Charged with Hate Crime

Friday, December 27th, 2013

For months, people in the New York City area have been watching media reports of a violent craze known as the “Knockout Game.” In this ugly fad, thugs attempt to knock out a random victim with a single punch, usually while the assault is being videotaped. The videotape of the attack is then widely shared, and the assailant gains that elusive currency of “street cred.”

People have wondered why, given that the vast majority of victims in the New York City area have been Jewish, the attacks have not been officially labelled “hate crimes.”

The following story provides a near perfect example of what kind of evidence would be required before an attack can be labeled a hate crime.

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On Thursday, Dec. 26, the United Stated Justice Department charged Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, with a federal hate crime after allegedly breaking the jaw of a 79 year old African American man.

On Nov. 24, Barrett, of suburban Houston, Texas, allegedly punched the victim, laughed, and said “knockout,” as he fled the scene. The victim was hit with such force that he immediately fell to the ground. The victim suffered two jaw fractures for which he had to have metal plates inserted, and was hospitalized for several days as a result of the attack.

The assault and Barrett’s glee was allegedly captured on Barrett’s cellphone, which he allegedly showed to others. According to the complaint, Barrett attacked the elderly man because of the man’s race and color in what Barrett called a “knockout.”

In addition to the claimed contemporaneous audio and video of the actual crime, there were other indicia of Barrett’s animosity towards African Americans, some of which was also captured on videotape.

For example, the complaint against Barrett states that he made several videos in which he identified himself, made racial slurs, and talked about the “Knockout Game.” Barrett was also recorded on a video saying, “the plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?”

“Hate crimes tear at the fabric of entire communities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Samuels.  “As always, the Civil Rights Division will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that hate crimes are identified and prosecuted, and that justice is done.”

The criminal complaint was filed under seal Dec. 24, 2013, and unsealed today upon Barrett’s arrest, according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement.   He is expected to make an initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate at 10:00 a.m.

“Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson said in a statement. “Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law.”

Because the victim’s race was part of the motive behind the attack, Barrett is being charged with violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

If convicted, Barrett faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Barrett’s attorney told reporters that his client suffers from bipolar disorder.

Wisconsin Man Arrested after Beating Two Men for Speaking Hebrew

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Police in Madison, Wisconsin have arrested a man for punching two men who were speaking Hebrew, but he claimed he attacked them because they he thought they were speaking Spanish.

The attacker apparently doesn’t mind Israelis but perhaps has a grudge against Spanish-speaking folks. He also obviously has no language background if he cannot distinguish “shalom” from “buenos dias.”

Police said the man demanded that his victims speak English and then hit them in their faces, knocking one of them to the ground and leaving the other man with a black eye.

French Court Acquits Boycott Activists of Hate Crime

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

A French court has acquitted three activists charged with discrimination and hate crimes for calling for a boycott of Israeli products in 2010, the France 3 television station reported.

The activists, Bernard Cholet, Jeanne Rousseau and Yamina Tadjeur, made the calls during a protest at a shopping center in the southern city and were charged following a complaint from the BNVCA anti-Semitism group.

The group to which the activists belong, Collectif 66 Peace and Justice in Palestine, supports a blanket boycott of all Israeli products as well as a “boycott only of products from Israeli colonies [in the Judea and Samaria],” according to a statement from 2011. Prosecutors had said that even if the call were discriminatory, there was no evidence it was an incitement to hatred or violence, as stated in the original indictment.

Police Launch Hate Crimes Probe of Toronto Arab Leader

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Toronto police launched a hate crimes investigation into comments made by an Arab community leader who called for the murder of Israelis.

“We have received a complaint with regards to things said at last week’s Al-Quds Day rally, a global and annual event started by the late Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini to press for the “liberation” of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

There is an investigation ongoing,” Toronto police spokeswoman Wendy Drummond told the Canadian Jewish News.

Addressing an Al-Quds Day rally on Aug. 3, Elias Hazineh, former president of Palestine House in suburban Toronto, said “an ultimatum” must be issued to Israelis: “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine,” he said.

“We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand,” Hazineh said to cheers from a crowd of approximately 400 at the annual rally.

His remarks were captured on video and posted to several blogs and websites, including YouTube.

Hazineh later said his comments were not meant to be taken literally.

Three Charged in Paintball Guns Attack on Hassidic Jew in New York

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Racial tensions in the New York town of Ramapo, near Monsey, flared Wednesday when two men and a women were arrested for firing a paintball gun at two members of the Jewish volunteer patrol group Chaverim. One of them suffered minor wounds in the stomach.

The trio also yelled anti-Semitic slurs and was charged with a hate crime, aggravated harassment and criminal possession of a weapon.

The victims were standing on a street when the suspected attackers drove through the Jewish community near Monsey. The volunteer radioed other Chaverim members, who were able to corner the vehicle until police arrived and arrested the trio.

Tensions have been running high in Ramapo, where there is a large Orthodox Hassidic community and large black and immigrant communities.

Vandals Spray Paint Portland Jewish Institutions

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Vandals defaced a Portland synagogue and a community center with racist graffiti. “White power” was written in red spray paint on promotional banners at Mittleman Jewish Community Center and Neveh Shalom, a conservative synagogue, police said, according to The Oregonian.

Both institutions are located in southwest Portland, and authorities are seeking a man in his early 20s who was spotted in the area shortly before the graffiti was discovered.

British ‘Jewish Police’ Force to Protect Mosques

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

The “Shomrim” Haredi police uniformed police force in London has offered to protect mosques in the Hackney district following violent attacks on local mosques, the British edition of Huffington Post reported.

The Shomrim regularly patrol the heavily Jewish populated area of Stamford Hills and often detain suspects until police arrive. The group’s origins are in New York, where the Shomrim organized after being tired of long response times of the local men in blue.

Muslim leaders met with Shomrim officials in a London area mosque  to discuss mutual cooperation, promoted by Hackney councilor Ian Sharer, an orthodox Jew who helped found the Muslim-Jewish forum.

“In our ward, the three councilors are two Haredi Jews, and one religious Muslim. We have been friends for many years, and we get on every well,” he told Huffington. “This is a very serious situation, and so I thought, why not call my friends from Shomrim?”

The Muslims welcomed the  offer and now have the Shomrim phone number to call if there is trouble.

Recent Muslim attacks have included arson on a community center and a homemade explosive device that was found at a mosque.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/british-jewish-police-force-to-protect-mosques/2013/06/25/

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