HOUSTON—Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, has been charged with a federal hate crime related to a racially motivated assault of a 79-year-old African-American man, announced United States Attorney Kenneth Magidson, along with Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Civil Rights Division and Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the FBI.
“Suspected crimes of this nature will simply not be tolerated,” said Magidson. “Evidence of hate crimes will be vigorously investigated and prosecuted with the assistance of all our partners to the fullest extent of the law.”
The criminal complaint was filed under seal December 24, 2013, and unsealed today upon Barrett’s arrest. He is expected to make an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Frances Stacy at 10:00 a.m. or 2:00 p.m.
The complaint charges Barrett, of Katy, with one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. According to the complaint, on November 24, 2013, Barrett attacked the elderly man because of the man’s race and color in what Barrett called a “knockout.”
“Hate crimes tear at the fabric of entire communities,” said Samuels. “As always, the Civil Rights Division will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that hate crimes are identified and prosecuted and that justice is done.”
Barrett allegedly recorded himself on his cell phone attacking the man and showed the video to others. The complaint alleges Barrett made several videos, one in which he identifies himself and another in which he makes a racial slur. In addition, Barrett had allegedly been working up the “courage” to play the knockout game for approximately a week.
The “knockout game” is an assault in which an assailant aims to knockout an unsuspecting victim with one punch. According to the complaint, the conduct has been called other names, and there have been similar incidents dating as far back as 1992. For the rest of this story>LINK
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