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Boston men face hate crime charges over Trump-inspired beating of homeless Mexican man



Two Boston brothers accused of urinating on and beating a homeless Mexican man have been charged with hate crimes after being quoted by police as saying, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley said on Friday a grand jury had brought the new charges against Scott Leader, 38, and Steve Leader, 30, arrested on Aug. 19 on suspicion of beating 58-year-old Guillermo Rodriguez as he slept in a subway station.

Trump, a candidate for the Republican U.S. presidential nomination, has been vocal on immigration, proposing to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and promising to deport the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants already in the United States if elected.

The brothers were initially charged with assault and battery for the purpose of intimidation because of national origin. A grand jury on Thursday charged each with one count of civil rights violations while causing bodily injury.

The new charges mean they face an additional possible 10 years in state prison if convicted and moves their forthcoming trial to Suffolk Superior Court, rather than the lower-level Dorchester Superior Court where they had initially been charged.

A police report released at the time ascribed to them the quote about Trump.


Prosecutors said Scott Leader told arresting officers that the two had “tuned up” an “illegal immigrant” and that he believed the attack was justified because the victim was homeless and Hispanic.

The pair also allegedly threatened police officers while in custody.

Trump, a real estate developer and reality television personality, initially described the attack as an outcome of passionate views on immigration but later called it “terrible.”

Daniel Hernandez Joseph, the consul general of Mexico in Boston, said the attack illustrated the importance of keeping political language civil.


“Political rhetoric has consequences and this is clearly an example,” Hernandez Joseph said. “People need to remain responsible for the consequences of their statements, regardless of whether that was their intention.”

Rodriguez, who is in the United States legally, is still in Massachusetts and recovering from his injuries, Hernandez Joseph said. He declined to provide further details on the man’s condition.

Lawyers for the two accused men could not be reached for immediate comment.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Howard Goller)

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Lawrence O’Donnell throttles Donny Deutsch for saying Elizabeth Warren can’t beat Trump: ‘This is pure guesswork’



Lawrence O'Donnell and Donny Deutsch had quite the exchange in the post-debate conversation on MSNBC Wednesday.

Deutsch tried to say that Sen. Elizabeth Warren's outstanding debate performance doesn't matter because Warren can't win in a match-up against President Donald Trump.

"I do not believe Elizabeth Warren, on stage with Donald Trump, beats him," he told the MSNBC panel. "And I think if we're honest with ourselves and we look hard at ourselves, I think a lot of people agree with me. It's — and I also think when you can label somebody a socialist, 57 percent of this country thinks that word is un-American. I'm not saying it's fair. When he can blanket Elizabeth Warren as a socialist, and he's on stage with her, the Democrats lose."

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Father and daughter drowning at the border fuels anger at Trump immigration policies



A shocking photograph of a Salvadoran man and his baby daughter drowned in the Rio Grande fueled a surge of emotion around the world Wednesday -- as US Democrats furiously denounced Donald Trump's immigration policies.

"Trump is responsible for these deaths," said Beto O'Rourke, one of several Democratic White House hopefuls who took to Twitter to lash out at the president.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is also seeking the presidency in 2020, called the image "gut-wrenching."

"History will judge how we respond to the Trump administration's treatment of immigrant families & children -- we can't be silent," he said.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate



Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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