Two white men have pleaded guilty to committing a hate crime in Shawnee, Oklahoma, the Department of Justice announced. Devan Nathanial Johnson, 28, and Brandon Wayne Killian, 31, were charged with physically assaulting a Black man and the man’s White friend. The assault happened in the parking lot of the Brickhouse Saloon in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division stated this investigation and resulting guilty plea proves the DOJ will prosecute hateful acts to the fullest extent of the law.
From the Department of Justice:
“These two defendants are being held accountable for subjecting a Black man to a brutal and racially motivated assault,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in a news release. “Convictions like these make clear that the Department of Justice will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals who violently assault others because of their race or skin color.”
Killian and Johnson face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. As the Department of Justice notes in their release, both men admitted to assaulting the Black man in the parking lot of the bar on June 22, 2019, because the man was Black. The statements were made at the plea hearings in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma this week.
“The defendants targeted a Black victim for a brutal attack simply because of the color of his skin,” U.S. Attorney Robert Troester said in the news release. “Hate-fueled criminal conduct is morally reprehensible and can never be acceptable in a civilized society. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to combat all hate crimes.”
The FBI Oklahoma City Field Office investigated the case, and special agent Edward J. Gray made it clear they won’t tolerate acts of racism.
“Violent acts of hate and racism have no place in our community and will not be tolerated,” said Special Agent in Charge Gray. “The FBI will continue to use all authority granted to us by federal law to investigate crimes motivated by bias, and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice.”