Showing posts with label hate crimes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hate crimes. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Justice Department launching investigation into Ahmaud Arbery's death as a hate crime

The U.S. Department of Justice is launching an investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black man in Georgia as a hate crime, according to attorneys for the victim's family. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, was shot and killed by two white men while jogging in his neighborhood on February 23. Three arrests were made this month after video surfaced of the violent encounter.

Attorneys for Arbery's family said the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Bobby Christine and his office will look into why Glynn County and the state of Georgia took more than two months to make an arrest and whether the region has historically violated the rights of its citizens. The U.S. Attorney said he plans to file criminal and civil charges.

Many have alleged Arbery was targeted because of his race, but Georgia is one of four states with no hate crime statutes, which generally allow for harsher sentencing for perpetrators of crimes ruled by a court to be bias-motivated.

While states are the primary prosecutors of hate crimes, the federal government also has the authority to bring charges under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The Department of Justice can act as a "backstop" to prosecute hate crimes in states without the statutes or where state laws don't cover the crime.

The Department of Justice has previously said it is reviewing the Arbery case to determine whether federal hate crime charges are appropriate. It was also weighing a request by the Attorney General of Georgia to investigate the conduct of the first two district attorneys assigned to the case. They recused themselves amid questions over their links to Gregory McMichael, a former law enforcement officer, and handling of the case.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Son of sheriff's deputy faces federal hate crime charges in Louisiana church fires

Federal hate crime charges have been filed against the son of a sheriff's deputy who was arrested in connection with a string of fires at three historically black churches in Louisiana, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Holden Matthews, 21, faces three counts of intentional damage to religious property, which constitute hate crimes under the Church Arson Prevention Act. He was also charged with three counts of using fire to commit a felony, the Justice Department said in a news release after the federal indictment was unsealed.

Holden Matthews, 21, was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on three counts of simple arson of a religious building.St. Landry Parish Sheriff Dept. The indictment says the fires were set "because of the religious character" of the properties.

The fires at the three churches, which were all started by gasoline and set from late March to early April, unnerved churchgoers in the St. Landry Parish region — conjuring up images of attacks on black churches in the South during the civil rights movement, and more recently, during the 1990s.

"Churches are vital places of worship and fellowship for our citizens and bind us together as a community," David Joseph, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, said in a statement. "Our freedom to safely congregate in these churches and exercise our religious beliefs must be jealously guarded. Today we are one step closer to justice for the parishioners of these churches and the St. Landry Parish communities affected by these acts."

Matthews already faced state charges in the church fires, including violating Louisiana's hate crime law. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Austin Texas bombing suspect dead

This is a breaking story, details may change as more information comes in.

A man whom authorities were attempting to arrest early Wednesday in a string of bombing attacks that originally focused on minorities in Austin killed himself with an explosive device as authorities closed in, a high-ranking law enforcement official told the American-Statesman early today.

The official said authorities identified a suspect in the past 24 hours based largely on information gained after police said the suspect shipped an explosive device from a FedEx store in Southwest Austin. That evidence included security video.

Authorities also relied upon store receipts showing suspicious transactions from the person and obtained a search warrant for his Google search history that showed him conducting searches they considered suspicious, the official said.

Authorities relied upon cell phone technology to trace the suspect to a hotel in Williamson County, the official said.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Package bombings targeting African Americans in Austin Texas

Package bombs that killed a teenager and wounded two women Monday in Austin are probably linked to a similar bombing that killed a man in the city earlier this month, authorities said, and investigators are considering whether race was a factor because all of the victims were minorities.

The first of Monday’s attacks killed a 17-year-old boy and wounded a 40-year-old woman, both whom were black. As police Chief Brian Manley held a news conference to discuss that blast, officers were called to the scene of another explosion that badly injured a 75-year-old Hispanic woman. She was taken to a hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries.

Authorities suspect that both of Monday’s blasts are linked to a March 2 attack that killed a 39-year-old black man, and they urged the public to call police if they receive any unexpected packages.

The three explosions occurred in different parts of Austin. Monday’s first explosion happened at a home near the city’s Windsor Park neighborhood and about 12 miles from the home where the March 2 package bomb killed 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House. His death was initially investigated as suspicious, but is now viewed as a homicide.

Monday’s second explosion happened in the Montopolis neighborhood, near the airport and about five miles south of the day’s first blast.

In at least the first two blasts, the packages were left overnight on the victims’ doorsteps and were not mailed or sent by a delivery service. He said neither the U.S. Postal Service nor private carriers such as UPS or FedEx have any record of delivering the package to the home, where Monday’s explosion occurred.

“There are similarities that we cannot rule out that these two items are, in fact, related,” Manley said.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the attacks, but it is possible that the victims could have been targeted because of their race, he said.

“We don’t know what the motive behind these may be,” Manley said. “We do know that both of the homes that were the recipients of these packages belong to African-Americans, so we cannot rule out that hate crime is at the core of this.”

Special Agent Michelle Lee, a San Antonio-based spokesman for the FBI, said the agency responded to both events and was assisting Austin police, who were leading the local investigation. She said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was leading the federal investigation.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Dylann Roof Gets Nine Life Sentences in State Case

Convicted Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was given nine consecutive life sentences in state prison after he pleaded guilty to state murder charges Monday, leaving him to await execution in a federal prison and sparing his victims and their families the burden of a second trial.

Judge J.C. Nicholson imposed the sentences following a hearing in which church members and Roof's grandfather testified about the personal toll of the case.

Standing at the defense table with his attorneys, clad in a gray and white striped jail jumpsuit and handcuffed to a chain at his waist, the self-avowed white supremacist entered his guilty pleas.

Under a plea agreement, Judge J.C. Nicholson sentenced Roof to life in prison on the state murder charges. The deal with state prosecutors, who also had been pursuing the death penalty, comes in exchange for a life prison sentence on the state charges.

Read more: Dylann Roof: Charleston Church Shooter Gets Nine Life Sentences in State Case

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Maryland murderer traveled from Maryland to New York to kill black men

Police said the man who surrendered Tuesday in connection with the fatal stabbing of a man in Midtown Manhattan traveled to New York City with the intent to attack and kill black men. Watch more below:

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Georgia pair sentenced to prison over Confederate flag confrontation

A Georgia judge sentenced a man and a woman to spend years in prison on Monday for their roles in a 2015 Confederate flag display that disturbed a group of black people attending a child's birthday party, prosecutors said.

Defendants Jose Torres, 26, and Kayla Norton, 25, were convicted earlier this month of charges that include making "terroristic threats" during the confrontation in Douglas County near Atlanta, which occurred at a time of heated national debate about a flag that many consider a symbol of racism.

Georgia Superior Court Judge William McClain sentenced Torres to serve 13 years in prison, and Norton to serve 6 years in prison, Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a phone interview. Both face probation after their release, and were banished from Douglas County.

Attorneys for Torres and Norton could not immediately be reached for comment.

The sentences were a year longer than prosecutors had asked for, said Fortner, noting the crimes went beyond disagreements over the battle flag used by the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War, which some defend as part of its heritage.

"This was a case where these people pulled out a shotgun and threatened to kill people at a party, including children," he said.

Read more: Georgia pair sentenced to prison over Confederate flag confrontation

Friday, January 06, 2017

There's a good reason the news media doesn't discuss black on white crime a lot.

In light of the horrific torture of a disabled white man by 4 black teens there have been many post on social media by some white peoples that the news media doesn't cover these type of stories. You know the ones where blacks attack whites. There's a reason for that. It's not that the media doesn't want to cover those crimes, it's that it doesn't happen as anywhere near as much as some want us to believe. Some just want to spread a false narrative and keep the fear of African Americans going to keep that narrative alive. Watch more on this below:

Monday, December 26, 2016

President Obama Signs 'Emmett Till Bill'

With only weeks left in office President Barack Obama signed the “Emmett Till Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016,” expanding the responsibilities of the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate and prosecute criminal civil rights violations that occurred before 1980 and resulted in a death. Read a summary of the bill from the Congressional Research Service below.
Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crimes Reauthorization Act of 2016
(Sec. 2) This bill reauthorizes the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act of 2007 (Emmett Till Act) and expands the responsibilities of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to include the investigation and prosecution of criminal civil rights statutes violations that occurred before 1980 and resulted in a death. (Currently, Emmett Till Act investigations are limited to violations that occurred before 1970.)
The bill expresses the sense of Congress that all authorities with jurisdiction should: (1) meet regularly with civil rights organizations, institutions of higher education, and DOJ-designated entities to coordinate information sharing and discuss the status of DOJ's Emmett Till Act work; (2) support the full accounting of all victims whose deaths or disappearances were the result of racially motivated crimes; (3) hold accountable under federal and state law individuals who were perpetrators of, or accomplices in, unsolved civil rights murders and disappearances; (4) keep families regularly informed about the status of the investigations; and (5) expeditiously comply with Freedom of Information Act requests and develop a singular, publicly accessible repository of these disclosed documents.
In investigating a complaint, DOJ may coordinate activities with entities that DOJ determines to be appropriate.
DOJ may reopen and review cases closed without an in-person investigation conducted by DOJ or the FBI.
DOJ must hold meetings with the Civil Rights Division, the FBI, the Community Relations Service, civil rights organizations, institutions of higher education, DOJ-designated entities, and state and local law enforcement to discuss the status of its Emmett Till Act work.
In an annual report to Congress, DOJ must indicate:
  • the number of cases referred by a civil rights organization, an institution of higher education, or a state or local law enforcement agency;
  • the number of such cases that resulted in federal charges;
  • the date any such charges were filed;
  • whether DOJ has declined to prosecute or participate in an investigation of a referred case;
  • the outreach, collaboration, and support for investigations and prosecutions of violations of criminal civil rights statutes, including murders and disappearances; and
  • any activity on reopened cases.
The Community Relations Service must provide technical assistance by bringing together law enforcement agencies and communities to address tensions raised by civil rights era crimes.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Dylann Roof will not use mental health to avoid death penalty

Convicted murderer Dylann Roof will not ask jurors to take his mental health into consideration next month during the death penalty phase of his trial for killing nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina.

In a handwritten note filed in a South Carolina federal court on Friday, Roof, an avowed white supremacist, wrote, "I will not be calling mental health experts or presenting mental health evidence."

Roof was found guilty on Thursday of 33 charges of federal hate crimes after a six-day trial featuring harrowing testimony about the night of June 17, 2015, when he attended Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church before opening fire on the parishioners.

Roof's decision not to call mental health experts or present mental health evidence came after he called the field of psychology a "Jewish invention" in his journal, part of which was read aloud at his trial earlier this month.

"I am morally opposed to psychology. It is a Jewish invention that does nothing but invent diseases and tell people they have problems when they don't," Roof wrote.

The jury is scheduled to begin hearing evidence on Jan. 3 in the second phase of the trial, which will determine whether Roof faces execution.