Swimming Beyond Racism A dedicated swimmer is back in the pool after being the victim of a hate crime five months ago, according to ABC 7 News. Omid, a 15-year-old middle school student from Chicago, heard the words “Hey Persian,” before he was violently attacked by one of his peers. The attacker broke Omid’s collarbone on both sides. Omid worried that he would ever be able to swim again. But, as he recovered, he received a visit from Olympic swimmer B.J. Johnson. The visit gave Omid the confidence to continue doing what he loved. Along with Johnson, community members came together to support his family. “We have all this outpouring of support...that’s what’s really helped,” said Omid’s mother, Melissa Babakhani. “We’re just going to focus on the good.” Although he still feels physical and emotional pain from the incident, Omid is swimming once again. “It affected me, but I am strong enough to get over it,” he said. Read the full story here.
Two men pled guilty on Tuesday to federal hate crime charges stemming from a series of attacks on African-Americans in Jackson, MS last year, including the murder of James Craig Anderson, according to CNN. William Kirk Montgomery, 23, and Jonathan Gaskamp, 20, were part of the group of young men responsible for Anderson’s violent death in June 2011. Montgomery was there the night that Darryl Dedmon, Jr. ran over Anderson with his truck after the group savagely beat the 49-year-old auto plant worker. Though uninvolved in Anderson’s murder, Gaskamp had participated in other, similar attacks around Jackson with the group. Both Montgomery and Gaskamp pled guilty to federal hate crimes charges this week. In total, five men from the group have been charged with crimes related to the attacks. Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler all pled guilty to federal hate crime charges earlier this year. Dedmon was sentenced to life in prison and Rice and Butler face life sentences. More Arrests Possible Prosecutors on the case told CNN that even more arrests could be made as the investigation into the group’s repeated attacks around Jackson continues.
Video: New Yorkers Gather for Silent March to End Racial Profiling Imagine, if almost the entire population of San Francisco were stopped by the police and patted down, and 88 percent of the time these innocent people were released with no charges. An entire group of New York city residents, whose numbers are greater than the populations of many large cities, has had this experience. In 2011, the NYPD stopped and questioned more than 685,000 New Yorkers. Eighty-seven percent were Black or Latino and 88 percent of those frisked were innocent and walked away with no charges, according to the NYCLU.