Did the February killing of Trayvon Martin drive a Black Chicago area teen to beat up his White victim?
That is what 18-year-old Alton L. Hayes (pictured) told investigators when he was arrested following the alleged attack, which took place April 17.
On that date, early in the a.m., police say that Alton, along with his 15-year-old accomplice, confronted a 19-year-old White man on the street, pushing him into a tree and hitting him several times. The 15-year-old picked up a branch, and told the man to give up his belongings while Alton went into the victim’s pockets, The Chicago Tribune reports.
Officers caught up with the pair not too long after they were notified by the victim (who was not seriously hurt). It was during his arrest that Alton reportedly revealed his motive behind the attack: anger over the Trayvon case.
Hayes was charged with attempted robbery, aggravated battery and a hate crime, according to an official, while the 15-year-old was charged with attempted robbery. Hayes is being held on $80,000 bail and will have to face a judge May 11.
The death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager who was shot and killed by neighborhood watch head George Zimmerman, sparked rallies across the nation with many saying Trayvon was racially profiled and killed because of the color of his skin. George, who was charged with second-degree murder, alleges the shooting was in self defense.
While the tragedy has shined a light on prejudice and racial profiling, unfortunately, cases of so-called “revenge” for Trayvon have also cropped up, despite Trayvon’s parents urging the public to let the legal system handle securing justice for their son. Most recently, a group of young Black people in Alabama allegedly beat up a White man, Matthew Owens leaving him critically injured, The Huffington Post reported. Allegedly, one his attackers said after the beating, “Now that’s justice for Trayvon.”
George Zimmerman has been charged, but many aren’t satisfied. What can be done to ease racial tensions that exist over the Trayvon Martin case? Leave your comments below.
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