On Wednesday, KDRV reported that two Northern California men have been charged under Oregon's hate crime statute for a reported racist, violent assault on a Black gas station attendant in Ashland.
"The incident happened on May 13, when Ashland Police responded to the AM/PM gas station at 2380 Ashland Street for reports of an assault in progress. An investigation into the attack found that two white men had assaulted a Black gas station attendant 'while using racist language,' the agency said," reported Jamie Parfitt. "Detectives took over the investigation and later identified the two men as 23-year-old Caleb Pierce of Fort Jones and 32-year-old Scott Sutton of Yreka, California."
"Hate crimes are known as bias crimes under Oregon law, and represent crimes motivated by bias against another person's race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Oregon's statute was overhauled by the legislature in 2019, adding gender identity as a protected class," said the report. "Court documents indicate that Pierce and Sutton were indicted on June 14 in Jackson County, with warrants issued for their arrest."
The report comes amid a rising incidence of hate crimes nationwide flagged by the FBI, with incidents at their highest level in over a decade. Last week, another such incident occurred in Las Vegas, where a man was arrested for attempted murder after allegedly attacking a Black man, chasing him, shouting the N-word, and attempting to shoot him with a non-lethal round and punch him.