Most of you are probably familiar with the awful trend gaining notoriety through social media known as the "knockout game." In this violent activity, young people select an unsuspecting stranger and then try to knock him out with only one punch. Videos of such occurrences have gone viral and psychologists and criminologists across the country are being asked onto news programs to ask about the behavior behind such callous attacks.
Now one of these "knockout" perpetrators in the Houston area, a Katy man named Conrad Barrett, has been charged with a federal hate crime for the attack he made last month. If convicted, he faces up to ten years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Mr. Barrett recorded his own racist musings about wanting to hit a black person and then proceeded to put an elderly black man in the hospital with a jaw broken in two places. The provisions of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, criminalize violent acts that occur because of the victim's actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. As Barrett was quite clear in statements he taped himself, race was a factor in his crime. Now, the courtroom arguments for both sides will play out.
If you have been injured where you should have had a reasonable expectation of protection, whether from random attacks by another person or dangerous working conditions or other circumstances beyond your control, the personal injury attorneys at Bertolino LLP can help. You deserve compensation for both the physical and emotional trauma you have faced as well as the impact these injuries will have on your quality of life moving forward. Please call us our Austin, Houston or San Antonio office today if we can be of assistance.
What do you think of the decision to apply federal hate crimes charges to this recent incident in Katy?