Articles Tagged with Chicago hate crimes attorney

A 36-year-old man is facing hate crime charges after writing a racial slur on a public CTA sign. While this may seem like it falls under the banner of free speech, and there are those who want it to fall under the banner of free speech, defacing anything that does not belong to you is considered a property crime in every state in the country. Further, the law makes room to criminalize speech that is used purely for the sake of intimidation and/or falls under the banner of civil rights protections. In this case, defacing a public sign for the purpose of intimidating people of color, people who practice other religions, or gender non-conforming people is a crime in Illinois and under federal law.

Police observed the man using a Sharpie to write something on the sign. According to the allegations, the man wrote “Black line” and then added a racial slur, according to police.

Typically, in a situation like this, the police would report what the racial slur was. In this case, they have not, but we can guess. It then becomes a matter of proving that the individual did indeed use a racial slur or was likely to complete a racial slur if given a chance. However, if police interrupted him in the middle of writing the racial slur, then he may still have a viable defense to the hate crime charges.

A poorly-adjusted Chicago man approached a Jewish high school and began making threats against students and a rabbi who performed security at the school. The man made several Holocaust-related provocations at students and faculty and, at one point, began goosestepping and doing a Nazi march. When police arrived at the scene, the defendant was still doing the Nazi march. He was then taken into custody.

He has since been charged with a hate crime and is being held on a $100,000 bond. He must post $10,000 before he can be released from custody. If he fails to post the $10,000, he will remain in jail until his case is decided. 

Analyzing the Defense

An Illinois man has been charged with a felony hate crime after attacking an LGBTQ-friendly bakery. The bakery sparked controversy after announcing a “family-friendly drag show” online. The threats and vandalism forced the bakery to cancel the show. Now, a 24-year-old Illinois man is facing felony charges related to vandalism plus the hate crime intensifier. The man, along with others, is accused of leaving feces on the doorstep, harassing employees, and making in-person and online threats. He also inspired a group of people to join in. Those people left a sign outside the business that said, “pedophiles work here.”

The man accused of vandalizing the bakery was caught in the act. A local resident saw him breaking windows and spray-painting messages that police described as hateful. After the incident, the bakery reported that they would cancel the drag show over safety concerns of the performers. 

What is Going on Here?

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

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