Feds charge white 'knockout game' attacker with hate crime
As predictable as night follows day, our Justice Department is apparently ready to clamp down on knockout game attackers - at least those who feature the "correct" skin color.
A Texas man who happens to be white has been charged with a hate crime for punching a black man last month in a racially motivated version of the knockout game.
In this case, the man accused is 27-year-old Conrad Alvin Barrett, who the Justice Department says attacked a 79-year-old black man in Fulshear, Texas, just west of Houston. Justice Department officials said they brought the case to make a point about hate crimes.
"Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated," said Kenneth Magidson, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Texas. "Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law."
He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of a hate crime under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Knockout, in which a participant tries to knock out a random person with one punch, has been in the news because of a spate of assaults in recent weeks.
The "game" has spawned a fierce cultural debate, with some commenters and law enforcement leaders disputing reports of a wave of attacks in New York, the District of Columbia and Midwestern cities such as St. Louis.
Many of the victims in news accounts have been white and their assailants have been black, but hate-crimes charges have been rare.
Last month, New York authorities charged one person with a hate crime because the target was a Jewish man.
According to the FBI statement, Mr. Barrett spent a week trying to work up the nerve to try knockout.
The FBI said that in a video from Nov. 24, the day of the assault, Mr. Barrett said he wanted "to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?" The video shows him stopping his car, approaching the 79-year-old man and asking, "How's it going, man?" - before "a loud smack is heard and the victim falls to the ground."
This case shows how warped law enforcement has gotten as a result of hate crime legislation. No matter who is in charge, the law will always be selectively enforced. It makes a mockery of the notion of equal justice under the law.
All of those racialist commentators and pundits who have been denying the fact that the knockout game even exists can now switch gears in the blink of an eye, and without acknowledging their past denials, rail against Texas racists who commit hate crimes.
The irony of dozens of reports of black on white violence being allowed to slide for the most part while the one instance of a white on black attack having the full force of the law thrown at the perpetrator should not escape us. it is Eric Holder's Justice Department. And it comes as no surprise that he doesn't do irony.