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Articles Tagged with Chicago hate crimes attorney

Chicago residents are no strangers to gunfire, but this particular mass shooting was a targeted attack on a predominantly Black neighborhood in one of Buffalo’s East Side neighborhoods. The shooter traveled halfway across the state from a small rural upstate town to commit the murder. He researched which area was most likely to contain the most Black people and murdered eight Black people and two white people, all told.

In this case, a federal background check was conducted on the shooter prior to his purchase of an AR-15 in January of this year. Similar failures occurred in the Nikolas Cruz case, the killer who used an AR-15 to shoot up a Parkland high school. In the latter case, the federal government was sued for failing to intervene and for negligently issuing a permit to a deranged psychopath, but the lawsuit was dismissed.

Which Laws Failed?

If you throw a drink at someone, that is battery. If you throw a drink at someone after calling them a ‘ho’ and demanding that they take their Star of David necklace off, then it is a hate crime. Such is the circumstance of a 30-year-old woman who was offended by the Jewish iconography worn by the bartender. She is now facing enhanced charges of battery evincing evidence of prejudice. 

The woman went off on a tirade concerning Israeli-Palestinian conflict. When the bartender recognized she was Palestinian, she told the woman that she did not mean to upset her. The woman was not consoled. She informed the bartender that she “hated Jews” and then threw her drink at the bartender, striking her in the collarbone. 

The woman was later identified via surveillance footage. She turned herself in before a warrant could be issued. The woman was released on her own recognizance and ordered not to drink or take drugs while her case is pending.

It has been a while since we have discussed the Ahmad Arbery case. The three men convicted of killing Arbery faced state murder charges in Georgia. Each was convicted on felony murder or malice murder charges, with the ringleader facing the harshest charges of the three. But their problems did not stop there. The federal government also wanted a piece of the men and convicted them on additional charges.

This does not happen very often, but the federal government can increase the misery of certain individuals by filing federal charges against those who have already been convicted of state-level charges. In the case of the Arbery killers, the three men were tried and convicted of murder based only on the facts of the crime. In other words, the Georgia prosecutors avoided bringing race into the prosecution at all. It was a tricky maneuver because everyone knew that this was a racially motivated attack. But Georgia has a large population of rural whites, which makes it among the most conservative states in the country next to neighboring Alabama. 

So state prosecutors decided to try the three men based on the facts of the altercation with Arbery and successfully gained convictions when the defendants failed to prove that Arbery had a weapon or was a threat when they rode him down in their pickup.

A man with a criminal history has been charged with defacing a synagogue by painting swastikas on it. He has been charged with criminal damage and defacement and is facing four hate crime charges related to each swastika that he spray painted. Earlier in the day, police found evidence that someone damaged a different synagogue, and broke the windows of two businesses. It is unclear if the man charged with defacing the synagogue has also been charged in relation to these crimes, but the matter will be investigated further to track his movements throughout the day, so more charges could be forthcoming.

What is a hate crime?

The term “hate crime” refers to a specific class of crimes committed with a specific purpose in mind. The purpose is to enrage, belittle, or terrify someone from a protected minority. In this case, painting symbols associated with the systematic murder and genocide of a people shows the type of bias the government is looking for to prove a hate crime. 

A Black man assaulted by a group of white men is facing criminal charges related to the incident. According to the man, who is a local civil rights activist and a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, called 911 after being assaulted by five men. The men accused him of trespassing on private property. The victim apologized and said he was not aware, but the situation escalated quickly when the men tried to teach him a lesson. 

According to the victim, the men threatened to break his arms and “get a noose.” One of the men was wearing a confederate flag hat, while others were chanting white power. Cellphone video captured some of the event. 

Two of the white men face charges of felony criminal confinement and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury. The white men maintained that they were threatened first and that the complainant was trespassing. Their lawyers claim that the two are victims of a smear campaign to jacket them as white supremacists. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources recommended charges be filed against all involved in the incident, but Monroe County prosecutors initially only filed charges against the two white men. Now the victim will have to face charges related to trespassing and battery. The FBI also said they are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime.

A Bloomington man was awarded a stiff 13-year prison sentence after he drove his motorcycle into protesters. One woman suffered abdominal injuries while another man sustained a swollen arm. The defendant, Marshall Blanchard, was given seven years for failing to give information following a traffic accident, and another six years on the hate crime charge. The sentences will run concurrently, however, meaning he will only have to serve, at most, seven years. He will also be given credit for time served. Several charges were dismissed as a part of the plea bargain, which on its face, makes little sense. Below, we will discuss why.

Failing to Give Information After an Accident

Failing to give information after an accident is generally charged as a class-A misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. He was given six years, probably due to his negotiated plea to run concurrently (at the same time) with a more severe hate crime charge. The maximum penalty for the most serious types of hate crimes is seven years.

Josia Biewer is facing hate crime charges for vandalizing both public and private property with racially inflammatory graffiti in Arlington Heights. Biewer, who is 20 years old, will face seven felony counts of criminal damage to property and hate crimes

Once the racist graffiti began to pile up, police began patrolling areas where it was found. At 2 a.m., police noticed a suspicious vehicle. Police searched the area and discovered Josia Biewer attempting to get into the car. The vehicle sped off without its headlights on, but police were able to track down Biewer who later admitted to defacing the property. 

Understanding Hate Crimes in Illinois

A University of Illinois student pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after police discovered that he left a noose made out of string in a dorm elevator. 20-year-old Andrew Smith was sentenced to a year of probation

Smith was originally charged with a hate crime, which is a felony. He was also charged with three counts of disorderly conduct, one for each student who was alarmed or disturbed by the noose. 

The charges were reduced and the prosecuting attorney accepted Smith’s guilty plea after he appeared contrite and remorseful. Smith sent a written letter of apology and officers were not able to find anything in his history that would suggest he was part of an organized hate group. 

fabian-grohs-396734-copy-300x240Hate crimes are crimes committed against a person who is targeted for a specific reason. This can be due to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or other factors. If you have been arrested for this type of crime, it is essential that you understand what the prosecution has to prove for you to be found guilty.

You may also want to know what type of sentence you could be facing if found guilty. Remember, having an experienced criminal defense lawyer can help eliminate or reduce these sentences.

Hate Crimes and Assault

alyssa-kibiloski-195807-copy-300x200Recent studies show that hate crimes in Chicago have increased by 20% between 2015 and 2016. New police data show that hate crimes are at a five-year high and have outpaced previous years. In fact, data show that since the last election, the number of victims of hate crimes has increased. People are treated differently, and the social dynamics of the city are shifting. Most hate crimes reported in the city have historically been toward gay men and blacks, but now they are increasingly toward Arabs, Muslims, and Hispanics. News reports continue show videos of city dwellers confronting women and men for wearing shirts that support other nations, other religions, and other races.

What Constitutes a Hate Crime?

Legally, hate crimes are any crimes motivated by some form of bias. Hate crimes are violent acts that target groups or individuals based on an identifier such as nationality, race, sexual orientation, or religion. Someone can be charged with committing a hate crime when he or she acts violently against a religious establishment or house of worship based solely on the nature of that institution. Expert attorneys know the latest changes that Illinois lawmakers have put into effect regarding these violent crimes.

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