"Revenge for Trayvon" Beating Not a Hate Crime, Police Say
Police have arrested in one suspect in the brutal beating.
A mob of African Americans who attacked a white Alabama man and allegedly screamed "Now that's justice for Trayvon" after the beating will not be charged with a hate crime.
The attack is currently being investigated as an assault, according to Ashley Rains, public information officer for the Mobile Police Department.
Police have apprehended one suspect in the brutal beating of 40-year-old Matthew Owens, who remains in an Alabama hospital in critical condition.
Owens reportedly shouted at a group of young black children playing basketball in the street to get out of the way this past Saturday. The children left the area — and a few hours later — several cars returned with a mob of African Americans who beat Owens with bats, paint cans and chairs.
Owens's sister, Ashley Parker, claimed that after the beating one of the attackers said, "Now that's justice for Trayvon!"
The alleged statement refers to the case of the 17-year-old unarmed teenager who was killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman on February 26. The case has gripped the nation's attention and divided the country along racial lines.
Police have yet to confirm that what Parker said is true.
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Despite what Parker may or may have not heard, one neighbor who was angry about the attack said that Owens didn't like African Americans.
“This has something to do with an adult that doesn't like black kids,” said Lemika Whisenhunt who lives on the same street as Owens.
While Owens didn't commit a crime, he does have an extensive rap sheet which includes charges of assault, domestic violence, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Police are still searching for more suspects.