Jerry Chambers passed out at a party in Virginia back in 2020 when he was 16 years old. When Chambers, who is Black, awoke, the N-word was written behind his right ear and a swastika was drawn on his jawline and a dildo was pressed up against his face. “White Lives MATTER” was written in black marker next to “F- — BLM" on his head, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
When he went to use the bathroom, other party goers draped a Confederate flag around him. People took pictures of the ordeal and posted them to social media. Participants later told police that writing on people at parties and taking photos of them was common behavior that many people saw as a harmless joke.
“How would you feel if you were physically abused with a sex toy? How would you feel if you were surrounded by guns all night while also being the only Black man in the room? How much more do I have to express for law enforcement to do anything about it?” Chambers said this Sunday, calling what was done to him a hate crime.
Chambers spoke in front of about 100 people in the parking lot of United Nations Church in South Richmond. It was the first time he spoke publicly about the incident in two years, and he accused police of refusing to do their job. The ordeal even led him to attempt suicide in February.
“I never want others who have experienced a hate crime to feel alone,” he said. “Never let the actions of someone else determine whether you want to live or not. Every single person listening to this right now has a future. I’d hate to see anybody lost due to suicide. Please continue to send support and help me see justice.”
Chambers reported the incident to police on Sept. 14, 2020. The Sheriff’s Office told him that it encouraged the family to meet with the chief prosecutor the next day, but the parents never showed up. An email supplied by his family showed Chambers was not eligible for statewide victim support because the state had “not received the police report from Powhatan, the jurisdiction in which the crime occurred and was reported.”
The Times-Dispatch reports that, in a December 2021 letter provided by the Chambers family from Powhatan Detective R.N. Riopedre, the detective admitted that the evidence showed evidence of a crime. The family was also told that the statute of limitations on the case had expired.
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