Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Funny how hate crimes is a one way street

3 held in attack with racial overtones are due in court today
City officials claim it wasn't a hate crime
By T.J. Pignataro

Three Buffalo teenagers arrested Tuesday are accused of the savage beating of a 19-year- old white man last August, after he walked his black girlfriend home on the city's far East Side.
Police charged two Newburgh Avenue brothers — Donte A. Lee, 18, and Antoine Blackmon, 16 — along with a 13-year-old male in the Aug. 18 attack on Brian Milligan Jr., who suffered severe head trauma, a fractured jaw and broken teeth. The incident occurred just before 11 p.m. in the 2100 block of Genesee Street near Floss Avenue. At one point, Milligan was struck with a chunk of concrete, police said.
During a news conference, city officials reiterated that no facts or evidence suggest the attack was a "hate crime," despite the fact that Milligan and family members told police he and his girlfriend had been the target of verbal abuse in the neighborhood in the weeks prior to the attack.
"It wasn't what many people thought it was and the facts and the evidence prove that this was just stupid, senseless and unprovoked violence," said Mayor Byron W. Brown.
Milligan has no recollection of the actual beating, authorities said, and the police investigation revealed that Lee, Blackmon and the juvenile didn't know Milligan and were not among those who previously targeted them with racially derogatory remarks.
"The victim was walking one way with the suspects coming the other way," said Daniel Derenda, deputy police commissioner.
"We believe that words were said to the victim that led to this act of violence. The facts or the evidence do not support the allegations this was, in fact, a hate crime," he said. "Whether it was white, black had nothing to do with it other than stupidity."
Derenda said there was no apparent motive for the attack.
Milligan's parents, when reached at their Depew home Tuesday evening, were elated about the arrests and expressed gratitude to Buffalo Police Detective Barbara Lark, who tirelessly worked on the case.
"She played her cards right. She kept everything "hush, hush,' knowing that sooner than later, she'd crack the case," said Brian Milligan Sr., the victim's father.
The family still believes Brian Jr. was targeted because of his race.
"If it wasn't a hate crime, what was it?," Milligan Sr. asked. "They didn't take his money. They didn't take his jewelry. He was wearing very expensive shoes; they didn't take those. How can it not be?"
The Milligans plan to see Lee and Blackmon for themselves at 9 a.m. today when they are arraigned in Buffalo City Court on felony charges of first-degree gang assault.
The two were being held in the Erie County Holding Center. The juvenile was in custody at the East Ferry Detention Center and is scheduled to be taken into Family Court as a delinquent.
The Rev. Darius G. Pridgen, pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church, made a plea to his congregation in the week following the attack to help police in finding those responsible. Lark believes Pridgen's help inspired some to come forward.
After spending four days in the trauma Intensive Care Unit at the Erie County Medical Center and several more days hospitalized with two fractures to his jaw, a broken tooth and a gash to his neck requiring seven staples to close, Milligan Jr. was discharged on Aug. 26.
That was only the beginning of his long road to recovery.
His jaw was wired shut for 8½ weeks, he lost three bottom teeth, still has numerous others out of place and will require braces to fix his teeth. Furthermore, Milligan Jr. still has some bleeding on his brain that is expected to subside eventually, his father said.
Milligan Jr., on Tuesday evening, was also in his third day back at work at the Walden Avenue McDonald's, which kept his job open for him while he healed.
"It's good to have him back," said Jody Purpura, the manager at the McDonald's. "I heard someone in the back saying to him earlier, "Everything's coming together, you got your job back and they caught the guys.' We're all glad."


Max Jacobs said...

Yeah there is never any evidence of minority hate crimes but if you even call Obama a socialist, it's considered a code word for the n-word.

And the fact that probably only 10% of blacks voted for the white guy in 2008 has nothing to do with racism while racism was clearly the only reason why almost 50% of people didnt vote for Obama.

The Comedian said...

I made a crude image years ago to illustrate this. Feel free to use it as you see fit.

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