A black teenager was called racial slurs and attacked by two white men near his home in Virginia as part of an effort to run his interracial family out of town, a federal lawsuit claims.
Yes, this is in 2017.
Well, to be precise, the attack occurred in 2015. The men involved in the attack were convicted of the assault and battery of the now 18-year-old Mister Frazier, but managed to escape hate crime charges after a judge ruled that two grown men assaulting a teenage boy appeared to be just a neighborhood brawl, the Associated Press notes.
“That’s like saying that the graffiti painting on LeBron James’ house was just a neighborly dispute,” Frazier’s attorney, Victor Glasberg, told the newswire, referring to the asshole who recently spray-painted the n-word on the front gate of James’ Los Angeles home.
Now, more than a year later, the lawsuit has trickled to the forefront.
Frazier said that he was playing outside with some kids during an 8-year-old’s birthday party in 2015 when he heard a man in a neighboring yard of a vacant home calling the children the n-word.
Frazier went over to confront the man about his language, according to the lawsuit, which is when the man—identified as Stephen Cooke—got in Frazier’s face and called him the n-word, too, telling the teen to jump before pushing his shoulder into the teen’s chest.
That’s when the other man, Douglas Clark, hit Frazier in the face before putting the teen in a headlock and dragging him to the ground, repeatedly punching him in the head.
“The attack fractured feelings of safety and belonging that had allowed them, an interracial family, to move to Gloucester [County] without fear of neighbors’ race-based hostility or violence,” the lawsuit claims.
Frazier’s sister said that she was also pushed by one of the men during the altercation, and is also named in the lawsuit.
During their trial, the men denied that the attack was racially motivated and claimed that Frazier was the one who started the whole thing (because of course they did).
Cooke claimed that he didn’t say the n-word but instead said “jigger” (this guy). However, he did acknowledge calling the children “dirt frogs” and “monkeys,” claiming that he was shouting at them because they weren’t supposed to be playing in the yard of the vacant home.
What is it with these people and not being able to adequately communicate their thoughts without resulting to slurs and insults? Because children playing in a yard totally warrants a screaming, adult idiot calling them names and slurs.
Anyway, Cooke’s attorney claimed that the whole thing was started because Frazier came up to the yard to engage Cooke.
“The fact that the Mister Frazier may or may not be of a different race doesn’t matter when the confrontation is just a garden-variety confrontation not motivated by his race but initiated by his coming into the backyard and coming up to Mr. Cooke,” attorney Devin Henlsey said during the trial.
Cooke and Clark were ultimately convicted of assault and battery and sentenced to a year in jail, but were told they would only have to serve part of it as long as they maintained good behavior, AP notes.
That must be nice.
Anyway, the lawsuit notes that Frazier and his sister lived with their black uncle and white aunt in Gloucester Point, which was almost 90 percent white in 2015. There were no other black Americans living on the block, according to the lawsuit, which also says that the assault was part of a “campaign of race-based hostility, harassment and violence” aimed at forcing the family from their home.
Cooke’s wife also spread rumors that Frazier had vandalized homes on the block and slashed a neighbor’s tires, according to Frazier’s attorney; and after the attack, she regularly honked her horn while driving by the family’s home.
Read more at CBS News.