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Tag: hate crime

Ex-FBI Agent: Charging Portland Suspect with Hate Crimes Is ‘Sticky’

Jeremy Christian

Jeremy Christian

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is trying to determine whether federal charges are warranted in the case of the 35-year-old man who stabbed three people on a Portland train after yelling expletives at two women he believed to be Muslims.

Jeremy Christian has already been charged with aggravated murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a handgun.

But feds are investigating whether Christian also committed hate crimes and domestic terrorism.

“It will take some time for a review of information and evidence along with consultation with prosecutors to determine whether federal charges will be filed,” Beth Anne Steele, a spokeswoman for the FBI told KATU News.

But a retired FBI agent told KATU those charges may be difficult to prove.

“Hating someone is not a crime,” Greg Vecchi, a retired FBI agent with 29 years of federal investigative experience said.

“You can hate someone, a Christian, a Muslim. You can hate someone who’s black, someone who’s white,” Vecchi said. “That by itself does not trigger the hate crime. What triggers it is taking it a step further and being able to prove that because of that bias that was a motivation or part of a motivation to carry out the crime. … This is where it becomes sticky.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigating If Fatal Stabbing of Black College Student Was Racially Motivated

Richard Collins, right, Sean Urbanski, left.

Richard Collins, right, Sean Urbanski, left.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the fatal stabbing of a black college student in Maryland after it was discovered the white suspect belonged to a racist Facebook group called “Alt-Reich.”

ABC News reports that 22-year-old Sean Urbanski, a student at University of Maryland, has been charged in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Richard Collins III, who was a U.S. Army officer.  

Calling the attack random and “totally unprovoked,” the university police requested the FBI’s assistance.

“New information obtained today from witnesses and other sources has led law enforcement officials to consider a hate-bias motive in this case,” University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said in a statement Sunday. “To ensure a comprehensive investigation, UMPD today asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to provide technical and forensic expertise, which it agreed to do.“

Collins, who was set to graduate from Bowie State University on Tuesday, was visiting UMD campus when he was stabbed by Urbanski, an apparent stranger.

FBI Helps American University Investigate Discovery of Bananas Hanging from Nooses

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is helping American University track down whoever hung bananas from nooses in multiple locations on campus.

Scrawled on the bananas was “AKA,” the acronym for the historically black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha, NBC Washington reports

Incensed students are planning another day of demonstrations to urge the administration to find the culprit.

The FBI’s Civil Rights division is lending a hand because a racially motivated hate crime appears to have been committed.

The bananas were found on the same day that an AKA member became the university’s first black student government president.

Campus police distributed what they believe is the suspect walking alone on an empty campus between 3:45 a.m, and 4:10 a.m. Tuesday, when at least three bananas were hung in nooses on campus.

Black students threatened to withdrawal from school.

“If our existence isn’t valued on this campus, then we don’t need to be here,” student Ma’at Sargeant said Tuesday. 

FBI Investigates Shooting of Fourth Indian in 2 Weeks As Possible Hate Crime

police lights

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has joined the investigation into the whereabouts and identity of an attacker who shot a Sikh man after telling him to “go back to your own country” in Kent, Washington.

The victim, Deep Rai, is a U.S. national of Indian origin, Al Jazeera reports. 

In a separate incident on Feb. 22, a gunman shot two Indians in a Kansas City bar after the shooter reportedly yelled, “Get out of my country.” A few days later, a 43-year-old man of Indian origin was shot dead outside of his home in South Carolina.

Rai, the latest victim, told authorizes that he was approached while he worked on his car in his driveway and was shot by a man described as 6 feet tall and stocky build,

In a statement, the FBI said it’s “committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated.”

FBI Investigating Shooting of Indian Men in Kansas As Federal Hate Crime

Shooting suspect Adam Purinton.

Shooting suspect Adam Purinton.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI said it’s now investigating a Kansas shooting as a hate crime after a Indian man was killed and another injured at a Kansas bar, the bureau said Tuesday.

Witnesses said the accused gunman shot the men after telling them to “get out of my country.”

Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died in the attack. Alok Madasani, 32, was released from the hospital a day after last week’s attack.

Adam W. Purinton, 51, has been charged in the shooting in Olathe, about 20 miles southwest of Kansas City. It appears Purinton thought the men were Iranian, according to a 911 call, the Washington Post reports. 

He now faces potential hate crime charges by the feds.

“Based upon the initial investigative activity, the FBI, in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, is investigating this incident as a hate crime,” an FBI spokeswoman said in a statement. “The FBI will continue to work jointly with Olathe Police Department and our state and local partners regarding this ongoing investigation.”

FBI Investigating Deadly Bar Shootings of Indians as Possible Hate Crime

Shooting suspect Adam Purinton.

Shooting suspect Adam Purinton.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating a shooting that killed one Indian man and injured another at a crowded bar in a Kansas City suburb to determine whether a hate crime was committed.

According to witnesses, Adam W. Purinton, 51, opened fire after telling the men to “get out of my country,” CNN reports. 

The shooting killed Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32. The victim’s friend, Alok Madasani, 32, was injured. Both men are originally from India.

A bar patron, Ian Grillot, 24, also was injured.

Purinton faces up to life in prison after he was charged with premeditated first-degree murder and two counts of attempted premeditated first-degree murder.

Authorities on Thursday declined to say whether the shooting was a hate crime.

FBI Investigates Brutal Beating of Native American in Tennessee

police tapeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the brutal beating of a Native American man in Tennessee to determine whether a hate crime was committed.

Three people were arrested in the beating of 60-year-old James Russell, of Bradley County.

The Bradley County Sheriff’s Office believes the beating was a case of mistaken identity, but the FBI wants to further investigate, WRCB reports. 

Deputies said three strangers followed Russell to a state park and beat him, causing serious injuries.

Russell described the attack as a hate crime.

“He grabbed my ponytail, pulled my head back until I was looking into his eyes and said I think I’ll scalp you… I always wanted to scalp an Indian. At that point I did not think I was going to make it through the night,” said Russell. 

Other Stories of Interest

 

FBI Joins Investigation of Mass Shooting at Historic Black Church in South Carolina

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is joining the investigation into the mass shooting at historic black church in Charleston, S.C., late Wednesday.

The Associated Press reports that the shooting was being called a hate crime, one reason the FBI was asked to help.

FBI Special Agent in Charge David Thomas attended a news conference early this morning to discuss the shooting, which killed nine people at the Emanuel AME Church.

Also killed was the church’s pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pickney.

Authorities were still searching for the shooter this morning.