This year has been marked by a global pandemic, but another public health crisis has also been growing behind the scenes: people being charged with racially motivated and hate crimes.
The last example of such racist violence alleged by the U.S. government came Tuesday when a Michigan man was charged by federal prosecutors with a hate crime for “willfully causing bodily injury to an African-American teenager because of the teenager’s race.” But the devil was in the details as Lee Mouat, a 42-year-old white man, stands accused of repeatedly calling a group of Black teens the N-word before retrieving a bike lock from his car and hitting one of them in the face with it, breaking his jaw and knocking out several teeth. All because they allegedly would not turn down the music they were playing on a portable speaker.
The criminal complaint claims that Mouat confronted Devin Freelon Jr. and two of his friends in a parking lot at Sterling State Park in Monroe County.
“Niggers don’t belong on this beach,” the complaint claims Mouat said. “While [Freelon] retrieved a portable speaker from a vehicle, MOAUT yelled racial slurs at [his] two friends, who were also AfricanAmerican teenagers. As [Freelon] walked over to his friends with the portable speaker, he noticed MOAUT walking quickly towards him. MOUAT swung an object, which struck [Freelon] in the face.”
One witness, claiming Mouat’s racist violence was premeditated, said he was angry at the Black teens before confronting them. The witness claims Mouat said “these niggers are playing gang music” and “I want to hit them with this cooler.” The complaint also says the witness claimed Mouat called them “niggers” and “monsters” and added that “I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them.”
If convicted, Mouat could be sentenced to 10 years in federal prison.
The most recent annual FBI report on hate crimes is from 2018 and shows that year hit a 16-year high for what the New York Times described as “Personal attacks motivated by bias or prejudice.”
While hate crime data for last year was not immediately available, there is no shortage of examples of people being charged this year with a hate crime. It was seemingly an indication that those kinds of indictments are showing no signs of slowing at a time when there is a national reckoning on race amid ongoing protests against racism and violence.
There could be another hate crime charge brewing in the investigation into allegations that a group of white men yelling racial slurs pulled up in a car next to a Black woman driver in Wisconsin in June, sprayed her with a flammable liquid and threw a lit lighter at her, engulfing her head and neck in flames. Federal investigators and Madison police were expected to wrap up their investigation soon.
However, the legal threshold for not just charging a suspect with a hate crime but also successfully prosecuting it has been tricky at best. In May, DarQuan Jones, 22, said he was walking to his girlfriend’s house when he was attacked by three white men. Jones told officers that at least one of the suspects made racist comments during the assault.
While the local NAACP called for hate crime charges to be filed, the suspects were arrested and indicted for willful injury. That’s because, at least in Iowa, willful injury is a felony and charging a hare crime for an assault is a misdemeanor.
“I thought the hate crime they were trying to charge was too weak,” Daryl Jones, Darquan Jones’ father, told local news outlet KCCI 8. “It wasn’t going to work for us. It was a slap on the wrist.”
This is America.
Violent White Folks Who Were Taken Into Custody With Loving Care By Police
1. Duke Webb, bowling alley gunman in Rockford, IllinoisSource:Winnebago County Sheriff's Office 1 of 27
2. Brad Parscale, demoted former Trump campaign managerSource:Getty 2 of 27
3. Brett HankisonSource:Shelby County Sheriff's Department 3 of 27
4. Thomas Kinworthy accused of killing Black cop, shooting another4 of 27
5. Dalton Potter allegedly shot a cop and another man
5 of 27
BLUE ALERT issued for Dalton Potter, age 29. Potter is suspected of shooting a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy overnight. Last known to be on foot on Interstate 75 at the Whitfield/Gordon County line. Potter is considered armed and dangerous. Call 911. #BlueAlert pic.twitter.com/Vdyl8ReGaW— GA Bureau of Investigation (@GBI_GA) September 7, 2020
6. White suspect physically attacking officer
6 of 27
Interesting.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) August 30, 2020
Thinking about Jacob Blake right now. Sure seems like white people get the benefit of the doubt when engaged with the police... pic.twitter.com/kLh9iCJepp
7. Kyle Rittenhouse, Kenosha Jacob Blake shooterSource:Twitter 7 of 27
8. White supremacist who beat a woman on video
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Nicholas Arnold Schock, 36, of Wauchula was arrested and charged with battery and disturbing the peace and bail was set at $620. He remains at the Sarasota County Jail. pic.twitter.com/ggDBjAxCN1— Carlos R. Munoz 📰 (@ReadCarlos) August 2, 2020
9. West Hollywood shooter9 of 27
10. Gregory and Travis McMichaelsSource:Glynn County Sheriff's Office 10 of 27
11. Anthony J. Trifiletti, shot an unarmed Black manSource:Saint Paul Police Department 11 of 27
12. Matthew Bernard, Killed Three People12 of 27
13.13 of 27
14. Mark Boisey14 of 27
15. Lorne BrownSource:NBC Miami 15 of 27
16. Patrick Crusius, El Paso Mall Mass Shooting Suspect
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Patrick Crusius allegedly wrote a racist manifesto before killing at least 18 people in Saturday's shooting at Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso. The suspect, a white male, was safely taken into custody.— NewsOne (@newsone) August 3, 2019
This is America. #Walmartshooting #ElPasoShootinghttps://t.co/cjYzJZsCXn
17. Aaron DeanSource:Tarrant County Jail 17 of 27
18. Amber Guyger18 of 27
19. James Holmes
19 of 27
Today on #CrimeStories: Prosecutors have released video of #Aurora shooter #JamesHolmes’ interviews w/ a psychiatrist. Tune in now on @SiriusXM ch. 111 for insight on the evaluation of his sanity in the #Colorado theater massacre. #NancyGrace #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #MassKiller pic.twitter.com/DKRD2s0ay8— Crime Online (@crimeonlinenews) February 26, 2019
20. Michael Mattioli20 of 27
21. Dylann RoofSource:Getty 21 of 27
22. Matthew Sloan Punched And Spit On Police...
22 of 27
Again, if Matthew Sloan was a Black man this would be a much different story. https://t.co/K4cwb6SQ38— NewsOne (@newsone) July 12, 2019
23. Assaulted Police And Even Chased Them...
23 of 27
This man never complied— Gambling Refund 💵™ (@OffshoreRefund) May 14, 2019
This man actually hit police multiple times
This man chased police and made them fear for safety
This man was not killed!
Pamela Turner was murdered and pregnant, she was never given the same opportunity. WHY? @KingJamespic.twitter.com/DfzdICbOy8
24. Shot At Police At Trump Tower...24 of 27
25. Shot At Police At Walmart -- And Was Let Go...25 of 27
26. Man Holds Black Man At Gunpoint And He Is Calmly Arrested...
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Downtown CHARLOTTESVILLE right now. F*ing white trash has a black man submitted first with a knife around his neck, then makes him kneel still threatening to stab him.— 𝔻𝕣. 𝕄𝕚𝕟𝕕𝕪’𝕤 𝕙𝕒𝕡𝕡𝕪 𝕥𝕠𝕕𝕒𝕪 (@tomorrowtambien) December 28, 2018
Please, Twitter do your thing in the name of justice #resist @washingtonpost @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/klg7g5ac22
27. Grady Wayne Wilkes27 of 27
N-Word-Spewing Racist Is Indicted For Beating Black Teen With A Bike Lock As Hate Crimes Grow In 2020 was originally published on newsone.com