February 28, 2011

Justice Department Fails To Act In Shooting of Black Children by Alleged North Carolina Racist

In the Fall of 2009 in Caswell County, North Carolina, two African American elementary school aged children were walking down a road with another child when they were allegedly fired upon with a shotgun by John Fugua, a white male who neighbors say yelled racial slurs at the children. One of the children was hit in the face and the other child was hit the arm.

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The NAACP of North Carolina has been monitoring the case says that John Fugua who was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, should additionally be charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. The attempted murder of these children occurred in September of 2009 and while the heinous crime has been covered by local North Carolina news media outlets, it has received scant national media coverage.

Rev. Dr. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP, said “Many people across this state and across this country said if it were reversed and there were three white children and a black shooter, that we would have seen a very different course of justice,”

Caswell County NAACP President Nate Hall said "I think there is an attitude across the country that is not sympathetic to civil rights in general and that attitude we have got to change,"

The children’s attacker John Fugua was charged and released after posting just $5,000 bond with must bail bondsmen only requiring 10 percent, that means Fugua only had to pay $500 to obtain his freedom while awaiting trial. The parents of the victims were outraged at the low bail amount as reported by digtraid.com.

Because of outrage from the parents John Fugua was brought back in and his bond was raised to $140,000 which he posted and was released back into the community where his alleged victims also live.

How can John Fugua not be charged with a hate crime when witnesses reported he yelled ethnic slurs at the children before opening up on them with a shotgun? Why was he initially only given a $5,000 bond, does this show that the magistrate in questions thinks little of the value of Black children’s lives.

Digtriad.com also reported in 2009 that Caswell County District Attorney Joel Brewer said ethnic intimidation is a misdemeanor in North Carolina and he supports the NAACP's effort to launch a federal investigation. He said he was the first person to contact the US Justice Department about this case, since his reach only goes as far as North Carolina law, not federal law.

A spokesperson for the US Attorney's Office said the office is aware of the situation and monitoring the local prosecution.

Here we are in 2011, two years after the incident and Eric Holder’s and Obama’s Justice Department has yet to charge this monster with a hate crime under federal statutes. One must also ask why North Carolina considers hate crimes based on ethnicity to only be a misdemeanor offence.

Caswell County is under the The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of North Carolina. Ripley Eagles Rand who was nominated by President Obama, was sworn in as the U. S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina on January 1, 2011 and he can be reached by phone at 336-333-5351.

John Fugua’s trial date is set for June 27, 2011 in Caswell County, North Carolina.


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