First of all, I don’t really get the need for hate crime legislation. Couldn’t any crime involving violence against another person be considered a hate crime? But the laws are on the books, and the federal government decided to invoke the law and charge a white “knockout game” attacker with a hate crime.
On Thursday, federal officials announced that they arrested and charged 27-year-old Conrad Alvin Barrett — a white man — with a federal racially-motivated hate crime for attempting to knock out an unsuspecting 79-year-old African American man with a single punch.
“Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson 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.”
It seems pretty clear that Barrett sought out a black man to attack, and he was dumb enough to record it. He said in a video ““The plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?” Well, he got the attention he was seeking. But what about the majority of perpetrators of the “knockout game” who aren’t charged with hate crimes?
The Washington Times highlights that despite an increase in reports of attacks of this type featuring black assailants and white victims, there have been few hate crime charges leveled against the attackers — but the paper notes that in November one person in New York was charged with a hate crime for targeting a Jewish man. (Read More)
Shouldn’t the law be applied equally to all perpetrators? Here in Syracuse a man died and his assailant wasn’t even charged with murder, let alone a hate crime.