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Social media pushes Miss. DA to charge hate crime after gay man called ‘f*ggot,’ beaten at Walmart

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A social media campaign has urged the District Attorney in Corinth to investigate a possible hate crime after a gay man was brutally beaten at a Mississippi Walmart.

Corinth Police Chief Ralph Dance, 26, told WTVA that 23-year-old James David Scott assaulted 26-year-old Devin Norman in a Walmart parking lot at around 1 p.m. on Friday.

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The confrontation occurred over a Facebook post that Dance called “apparently sexual in nature.”

According to Norman, Scott beat him because of his sexual orientation. Reports said that Scott had called him a “faggot” during the incident.

“I think that it’s a travesty that there’s an entire segment of abuse that’s just swept under the rug,” Norman explained. “Yes, his assault was aggravated but it’s entirely something else. Entirely. It was simply because of who I love.”

Sources close to Norman told WMC that he had threatened to “out” Scott with private text messages and photos that the two men had shared with each other.

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But Norman insisted that he no longer had the photos.

“I was bluffing, hoping that he would back away from me because his body language was so threatening, and violence scares me,” he recalled.

Scott was charged with simple assault. Police later said that the charges would be upgraded to aggravated assault on Monday.

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Norman has called on police to charge Scott with a hate crime, but officials indicated that they did not think that the evidence supported that charge.

A social media campaign launched on Sunday asked people to contact District Attorney Trent Kelly to urge him to pursue hate crime charges. And a petition on the White House website asked the president to “force” the DA to classify the attack as a hate crime.

“This story is heartbreaking in its absolute stupidity, and because I know there are echos of my own past in it,” one Reddit user noted. “I’ve seen this kind of hate before. I was perceived as being weird, and I often received taunts of ‘faggot,’ and “n*ggerlover,” because I had black friends and stood up against racism, and dared to care about recycling.”

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IfYouOnlyNews.com pointed out that Mississippi had no law protecting LGBT people against hate crimes. But Scott could be charged under federal hate crime laws.

Watch the video below from WMC, broadcast March 23, 2015.

WMC Action News 5 – Memphis, Tennessee

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘He does not belong in this office’: Ron Reagan says Trump ‘has been crazy because he is crazy’

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The son of Republican President Ronald Reagan blasted President Donald Trump on MSNBC on Tuesday.

Ron Reagan, Jr. was interviewed on "Hardball" by Chris Matthews.

The host recounted Trump's attacks on Denmark after they said Greenland was not for sale.

"He wants to fight with everybody, including the quiet, American-loving Danes. What’s up?" Matthews asked.

"Well, it’s craziness, but I take a little umbrage at this idea that we have to ascribe it to something like the economy or his anxiousness about re-election. He’s acting the way he’s acting because he is who he is and what he is," Reagan replied.

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Trump may look unstable now — but the economy is going to make him much worse: CNN’s April Ryan

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," analyst and American Urban Radio Network Washington bureau chief April Ryan walked through how President Donald Trump backed himself into a corner by trying to build his brand on a great economy — and is coming to pieces as a result.

"April, what are you hearing? Is the economy causing the president's erratic behavior?" asked anchor Kate Bolduan.

"Yes, yes, and yes," said Ryan. "This president has been touting a great economy, and this is the cornerstone since I guess since the very beginning of his administration for people to feel that he should win re-election, that he is firmly planted for the American public and he's working for them," said Ryan. "But indicators, non-traditional indicators, are saying something different. He is having a hard time trying to marry the great economy with what it looks like for the American public, particularly the grassroots."

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‘It is all crazy’: CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin goes off on people who try to insist Trump’s rants are just jokes

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin scorned the idea from President Donald Trump's defenders that rants like his recent anointment of himself as "the chosen one" are made in jest, for entertainment value.

"One of the strange things about President Trump is that nobody has ever seen him laugh, like a full laugh on camera," said Toobin. "Think about it. You never see it. And this notion of explaining crazy things he says as jokes is not — that is just not true. He does not joke. When he said 'Russia, you know, I want you to find Hillary Clinton's emails,' they tried to explain it as a joke. It wasn't. Russia went right to work trying to find Hillary's emails."

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