Thursday, February 05, 2009

UPS Worker victim of Hate Crime.!!!!!! STOP HATE.!!! Act know.

Hate crimes are criminal actions intended to harm or intimidate people because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or other minority group status. They are also referred to as bias crimes.

Since the 1980s, the problem of hate crimes has attracted increasing fear and tension within Minorities.


The Richmond chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was holding a vigil in Richmond Thursday afternoon in support of Brandon Manning, a black man who was beaten Jan. 24 in what police and prosecutors have alleged was a hate crime.

Seven people were initially arrested in connection with the beating but only four have been charged. The local NAACP chapter alleges that the three people who were released would have been charged if not for a delay by Richmond police in investigating the case.

In a phone interview Thursday, Manning, a 24-year-old Pinole resident who works for UPS, recalled the attack.

Manning said he had gotten off work early that day but didn't have a ride home, so he went to a nearby gas station to ask around for a lift.

"I got a ride from some ladies who drove me to the Valero station in Pinole," Manning said.

As he was trying to get a ride from the Valero station to his home, Manning saw a group of men. They started talking and Manning thought he recognized the driver of one of the cars, he said. The driver allegedly said he recognized Manning as well "and we agreed we knew each other from a past job," Manning said.

Manning said he asked the men if they would give him a ride home, since he didn't live far from the gas station.

They said they would, but instead of taking him home, they took him to La Moine Valley View Park in Richmond.

It was a large group and they were all drunk, Manning said, so he tried to "go with the flow."

"I didn't want to piss them off," he said.

While they were in the park, they saw a police car drive by and the group started walking away from the cars so the police wouldn't think they had been driving drunk.

They started walking toward some houses to make it look like they had walked to the park, Manning said.

"Then out of nowhere I get blindsided," Brandon said. "And the rest is history."

The group started kicking and punching Manning while shouting racial slurs at him, he said.

Manning said he lay there and waited for them to leave and then stumbled to a house to ask for help.

The residents of the first house he tried refused to help him, Manning said, so he knocked on the door of the next house and they called him an ambulance.

He said he was still in a lot of pain. The left side of his face is fractured in six places and he is scheduled to have reconstructive surgery next week.

Doctors are going to put metal plates in to support his cheekbone "so my face doesn't look like it's sinking anymore," Manning said.

The assault was reported at about 3 a.m. on Jan. 24, a Saturday, but wasn't investigated until the following Wednesday or Thursday because of an administrative error, Sgt. Bisa French said.

Seven suspects were initially arrested and four were charged earlier this week. The other three were released because there wasn't enough evidence to charge them, police said.

Steven Kinney, 18, Andrew Word, 19, Victor Faria, 18, and Richard Lange, 20, have each been charged with assault with a deadly weapon, felony battery and an enhancement for allegedly committing a hate crime, French said.

Lange also faces an additional charge for violating his probation.

Ken Nelson, president of the Richmond chapter of the NAACP, said that by holding the vigil he hopes to send a message to the community that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Richmond.

He also hopes to raise awareness of what he called the "incompetence of the police department" for not investigating the attack immediately.

Nelson said he believed a delay in the investigation led to the release of three of the suspects.

"It was not taken seriously," Nelson said. "It gives the appearance of a double standard."

"That had nothing to do with it," according to French.

She said detectives presented all the evidence to the deputy district attorney and that evidence wouldn't have been any different if the crime had been investigated immediately.

According to French, the delay happened because weekend shift detectives had put the initial report of the beating on their supervisor's desk at the end of their shifts, but their supervisor didn't get back to the station to assign the case to investigators until the following Wednesday or Thursday.

Police have since restructured how they process crime reports and all reports now go directly to the on-duty watch commander, French said.

"It is extremely difficult to look at this as an isolated event or just a mistake," Nelson said.

He said representatives from the NAACP spoke with the mayor and city manager about a month ago and told them they were concerned about racial discrimination in the Richmond Police Department.

"And now here we are a month later and we have this debacle," Nelson said.

Manning said that a lot of his friends were angry about what had happened to him. They were also angry that three of the suspects had been released without charges, but he said he was trying not to let his own anger take over and make him do something stupid.

"I have a little family I have to care for," Manning said.

He has two stepsons and a baby due in March.

Kinney, Word, Lange and Faria were arraigned Wednesday in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Richmond, but did not enter pleas. They are scheduled to return to court Feb. 11 to be assigned attorneys and enter pleas, according to the superior court clerk's office. Source:

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