Last week 10-year old Danielle Fair was riding her scooter down the sidewalk in a West Cleveland, OH neighborhood. Danielle, who is white, was sucker punched by a 13-year old black girl, knocking her to the ground. A beating ensued in which the attacker repeatedly punched the girl in the face and called her a “cracker.” Seems like a pretty open-and-shut case of a hate crime, but not so fast.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that police have decided not to pursue hate crime charges in the case. A department spokesman says after reviewing the video of the attack, they have concluded that no racial hatred was involved. The heavily redacted police report leaves many questions as to their decision.
I’m not quite sure what sort of advanced video equipment the Cleveland Police Department has, because when I watched the video there is almost no audio associated with it. It would seem impossible to determine if any racial epithets were hurled. I bet they just showed it to Al Sharpton and he said, “Black girl beating a white girl? Not a hate crime, just an expression of 400 years of oppression.”
The police also cited conflicting witness statements as a reason for not perusing hate crime charges. None of the news reports on the incident were able to turn up witnesses that said there were no racial slurs, but most were able to find witnesses that heard them.
One neighbor heard the attacker call Danielle a cracker during the incident. On top of that, the neighbor says the black girl has a history of taunting children in the neighborhood saying she hates them because they are white.
Danielle’s parents actually tried to handle the incident without involving the police. Her father went to talk to the attacker’s grandfather, but apparently he was belligerent and uncooperative. A TV news crew attempted to talk to the attacker’s family, but they refused to open the door and said, “the facts will come out in court.”
Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, and President Barack Obama are organizing a huge rally to protest this egregious case of racial injustice. Oh wait, upon further investigation, this appears not to be true. Obama says Danielle doesn’t look like she could be his daughter and Al and Jesse can’t even compute that hatred can flow both ways.
Danielle now lives in fear and avoids the older black girl who attacked her at all costs. She learned a valuable lesson from the Cleveland PD: It’s only racist if white people do it.