Community Gathers to Support Richmond, CA Hate Crime Victim | Not in Our Town

Community Gathers to Support Richmond, CA Hate Crime Victim

After the recent beating of Brandon Manning, a 24-year-old African American resident, the Richmond chapter of the NAACP called a vigil in El Sobrante, CA on Feb. 5, 2009, to support Manning and his family.

Two dozen community members joined city and religious leaders who huddled together in the rain at the park where Manning was attacked.

“I’m here to give my support to the Manning family,” said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. “Ultimately I want to say Richmond is a place that welcomes people of all races, creeds and cultures, all sexual orientations — and at times like this, we come together to support each other and to strengthen our resolve and ability to respond and to just come back stronger.”

Manning, who attended the vigil, embraced the community’s support. “If I can bring people together, then I’ve done something,” he said.

The attack occurred on Jan. 24, 2009,after Manning, a UPS employee, met a group of men on his way home from work. The men offered to give him a ride home, but instead took him to La Moine Valley View Park where Manning says the men started to kick and punch him while shouting racial slurs. Manning’s face was fractured in six places and he will soon undergo reconstructive surgery.

Four of seven suspects have been charged in connection with the beating. The local NAACP chapter is calling on investigators to make further arrests and has criticized the Richmond police for failing to handle the case properly. Richmond police officials confirmed the initial report of the beating sat for days on a patrol supervisor’s desk before reaching investigators, stalling follow-up for nearly a week.

At the vigil, Mayor McLaughlin addressed the delay by police. “I’m glad that the police chief has acknowledged that there was an error in the investigation process and that he is correcting it,” she said. “I’m working on getting more details on exactly how this investigation was not dealt with in the proper way and how it is being rectified. I want a full investigation of this crime.”



Mike Raccoon Eyes says:


By: Mike (Ali) Raccoon Eyes Kinney

As a Cherokee Native American Activist and a former member of the Richmond California Violence Prevention Movement, I have seen close to 515 homicides in the City of Richmond from 2001 to the present.

The declaration of a ‘war on violence’ by the Richmond city government was not the panacea, instead it failed miserably.
I have often stated in town hall meetings and on television, the best way to win the ‘war on violence’ in Richmond is to ‘TEACH THE VALUES OF PEACE’.
In the killing fields of Richmond, most of the victims of homicides are youth or young adults. Teaching the values of peace begins with our youth and young adults. From a Native perspective, winning the war on violence begins in the home with a strong, spiritual belief and value system.
We believe that Creator made all generations, past, present and those of the future, holy people. This is what our Elders teach us from the time we are born.
Our families and Elders teach our young people that they must tear away the images and stereotypes that mainstream society has placed upon them as Native peoples.
Violence and killing is not traditional in Native culture, it is a learned behavior from mainstream society.
We teach our youths not to attack, punish or beat themselves up for crimes that they have never committed in regards to racism. Our Elders and families teach our young people to have good self-esteem, self-worth and self-value, for as the original holy people this was Creators plan.
Native people know that it is both family and community responsibility to teach the values of peace to our young people.
We teach our young people honesty and accountability concerning violence. It begins with accepting responsibility for self and acknowledging any past use of violence. Admitting any wrongdoing, communicating openly and truthfully to renounce the use of violence in the future places our youth on the right path. We place a heavy emphasis that all life is sacred.
The final lesson in teaching the values of peace is quite simple. It is helping young people understand their relationship to others and all things in Creation.
Be responsible for your role, act with compassion and respect, and remember ALL LIFE IS SACRED. Native culture is prevention!

Mike (Ali) Raccoon Eyes Kinney

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