A Louisiana man could spend up to six months in jail after he was charged with attacking a 12-year-old black child over the weekend.
The 12-year-old boy’s mother told WAFB that she sent her son into the Good To Go convenience store in Clinton on Saturday to pay for gas when 54-year-old Ronnie Barnes targeted him because of his dreadlocks.
According to East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office, Barnes asked if the boy was a girl and then pulled down the child’s pants.
Surveillance video shows Barnes backing the boy into a shelf after pulling down his pants. Investigators accused him of using the N-word and then hitting the child in the head.
Barnes was initially charged with simple battery, but the District Attorney’s Office upgraded the charge to a hate crime after investigators conducted additional interviews.
“The sheriff takes race issues very seriously, and if someone you know commits a crime against someone because of their color, because of their sexual orientation, because of any reason, then we are going to do our best to fully investigate it,” East Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office Det. Kevin Garig explained to WAFB.
“Because a simple battery occurred and because it occurred because of racially motivated issues, that’s what makes it a hate crime,” he added.
Garig noted that just calling a child the N-word was not a crime.
The boy’s mother said that the incident made her worry for all of the children in the community.
“I haven’t slept since. My son hasn’t been sleeping either,” she said. “We can’t even be safe in a store to pay for gas. It makes me afraid for all the black children in the community.”
Watch the video below from WAFB, broadcast July 29, 2015.
MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace chuckles after Times reporter explains why Trump has no hope of pivoting to an empathetic campaign
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace struggled to stifle a chuckle in a conversation about President Donald Trump's struggle to run a campaign that can contend with most Americans' needs in a horrific pandemic.
"I think to Nick [Confessore's] point earlier, there should be a sense of nervousness in Trump's camp," began Democratic strategist Basil Smikle. "You don't see -- you talked about enablers. You don't see Republicans engaged in their behavior with respect to the president at this juncture. You're starting to see them not nationalize he's the president of the United States. They should be more allied with him, but instead, they're focused on local campaigns. The president has lost several cases at the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act case notwithstanding. There's a lot of things they should be rallying around, but they can't."
‘Another hoax’: Trump whines and rambles about Supreme Court and New York in latest meeting
After spending most of the day whining on Twitter, President Donald Trump spoke to the press from the White House Thursday afternoon to call questions about his taxes and financial documents a "witch hunt."
Trump has used the term to reference the Russia scandal, the Ukraine scandal, cases against Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, his friend Roger Stone and any other topics he chooses on any given day.
"Do you have a reaction to the Supreme Court rulings today?" asked a reporter that sounded like CNN's Kaitlan Collins.
"The rulings we're basically starting all over again," Trump said. "This is a political witch-hunt... it's a witch-hunt, it's a hoax, just like the Mueller investigation... this is purely political..."
‘Absolute immunity:’ Kayleigh McEnany claims Trump has monarch-like powers despite Supreme Court ruling
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Thursday said that President Donald Trump continues to believe that he has "absolute immunity" from prosecution despite a Supreme Court ruling that said otherwise.
At a White House briefing, McEnany argued that a high court ruling which gives prosecutors the right to subpoena Trump's financial records is actually a "win for the president."
"The president was making general point about deference and on the principal of absolute immunity," she explained. "He believes there should have been more deference [to him by the court]."