…which is of course nonsense. I am against hate crime legislation mainly because I think if you’re doing something criminal against certain groups, well, you’re doing something criminal and should be arrested as such. This incident illustrates the other problem I have with the idea, which is that it allows flexibility for the police to provide unequal protection to different groups. It needs no great imagination to conclude that had just one word on the brick been different, the police’s reaction would be very different.By the way, I hope everyone noticed the nice reversal of expectations I put into the thread title?
For what it’s worth, I read the thread title, read your name next to it, and knew exactly what to expect.
According to your link, the police are not ignoring the crime at all. They declined to classify it as a hate crime, but: “Police say the incident has been classified as criminal mischief and deadly conduct.”
Yeah, sure, and if I wrote, “DIE, NIGGER” onto a brick and threw it through some black family’s window, anyone would dare to suggest that it was “probably some idiot who doesn’t like me who just scribbled a scary message on the brick” and not a hate crime.
I’ve got some beautiful oceanfront property here in Indiana to sell you, by the way.
Isn’t the ultimate charge up to the District Attorney, not the police? The cops can “investigate the crime as” pretty much anything they want, and the results of this investigation influence the charges, if any.
Right. A window belonging to an individual. That’s like saying a cross burned on a lawn wouldn’t be a hate crime, and if Texas law is written such that burning a cross on someone’s lawn isn’t a hate crime, then, as Dickens said, the law is an ass.
The thread title is disingenuous. They’re not ignoring a crime. They just haven’t classified as a hate crime. Now if the victim was black and the message reflected that, it would be definitely classified as a hate crime. The family’s representative should argue that point.
How do you know it’s not some white person who doesn’t like their neighbor who scribbled a scary message on the brick? I’m not saying it is or isn’t, I’m just saying that I don’t think you can investigate something as a hate crime until you have the motive sussed out. Which means identifying a perp or class of perps.
Well, you can investigate it as a hate crime. You could also investigate it as the first salvo in the looming Martian invasion. I would guess a reason to not investigate it as a hate crime, at least in the early stages, is that the police are assuming what you suggest - someone has a personal grudge against the homeowner. The first line of investigation would be asking the homeowner about conflicts with neighbors, ex-partners, etc.
Another possible tack is to start with the assumption it’s some 12 year-old troll trying to stir up trouble for fun. That investigation could begin with looking into similar acts of vandalism over the past year.
And if they were starting with the assumption that this was a hate crime, the cops could start looking into people who write racist letters to the editor, or who have arrest records for assaults with racist overtones.
The point being that with limited time and resources, the cops often have to make a judgement call about how they’re going to handle an investigation in its early stages. The OP’s outrage is premature.
Hate crimes, legally speaking, are distinguished by the element of intent, although “motivation” is more accurate. Crimes motivated by hatred for a group are considered (correctly, in my opinion) a greater threat to public safety than similar crimes motivated by hatred for an individual; they therefore draw greater punishments.
In this case, there seems to be nothing to be gained by investigating this vandalism as a hate crime; the DA can worry about that when they arraign a suspect.
From this more complete article, it seems they are trying to investigate the attack and believe that race is a factor. Maybe the police are incompetent, but are they really ignoring this? I looks like this attack is a big deal.