Hate Crimes, Race and the Media
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Nine black juveniles--nine of them girls--are on trial for assaulting three white women in Long Beach. The defendants are accused of hate crimes. How common are hate crime charges against minorities who attack whites? Is the case getting the attention it deserves?
Last Halloween night, the Long Beach Police say three white women were attacked coming out of a haunted house in the upscale neighborhood of Bixby Knolls. One victim suffered broken facial bones and the partial loss of sight in one eye. Ten black juveniles—nine of them girls-- are on trial. Police say they yelled racial epithets during the assault, including "we hate whites" and "white bitches." Because of that, the District Attorney has accused eight of the defendants of hate crimes. That could mean a "first strike" on their adult criminal records. It's a potentially sensational story, including claims of intimidation against witnesses. But there are questions about whether it's getting the attention it really deserves.
- Earl Ofari Hutchinson: Nationally syndicated columnist, radio host, civil rights activist and author, @earlhutchinson
- Kate Coe: Freelance writer and television producer
- John Futch: Managing Editor at the Long Beach Press Telegram
- Janet Clayton: Managing Editor of State and Local News for the Los Angeles Times
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Which Way L.A.? is made possible in part by the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, and the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, which supports study and research into policy issues of the Los Angeles region.
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