Was brutal beating at Kroger a hate crime?

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Since video of a brutal beating in Kroger's parking lot first surfaced online, dozens of people wanted to know if police were considering the attack a hate crime.

The video shows a group of primarily black teenagers kicking a white Kroger employee in the head.

"I know this has a lot of racial undertones," Memphis Police Department Director Toney Armstrong said.

A spokesperson for MPD said the Shelby County District Attorney's Office is responsible for deciding whether to charge suspects with a hate crime.

"In the state of Tennessee, the law is actually called civil rights intimidation and if that applies that's certainty something we'll look to," District Attorney General Amy Wierich said. "Committing a crime against someone, targeting someone because of certain things -- their race, their gender, their, you know, whatever."

Wierich said her office is waiting for police to complete their investigation before deciding on if the attack was considered a hate crime.

"We acknowledge that the majority of the suspects, a majority of the juveniles involved in this were African-American, but you have to also understand there was an African-American victim in this as well," Armstrong said.

The DA's office and police said they have been in constant contact with one another about the investigation.

However, police do not believe a hate crime investigation is likely at this point.

"We don't have sufficient enough evidence to investigate this as a hate crime," Armstrong said.

78 comments

    • Nancy Smith

      Yes, we already know that! These are the rules written by Holder, Sharpton, Jackson, and Obama. All paid employees of the Federal Government.

  • Carol

    and the thug girl with all the ghetto narrative & laughing while recording the event and doing nothing should be charged as an accessory after the fact… I hope at least she gets fired….

  • XEROX

    The very first part of the video where the person filming it says: Look they got them a white guy, shows it was initially a race thing.

    Yes they also beat a black guy because he came to the aid of the others.

    Of course most of the liberal media cuts that part out.

    Regardless of how the system interprets a hate crime, when someone has that much anger and hate against another person that did nothing wrong, they do not belong on the street.

    Do the crime, do the time. And I hope they get their tails kicked on a daily basis if and when they get locked in with the big boys.

    • Vicky Ball

      So many ignorant people in usa like it was 1960 or somethin go to school try to broaden your mind not your mouth. Tom f

  • Rude Druid

    Whether or not it was a racial hate crime by legal definition — and that point NEEDS to be argued exhaustively here in Memphis — there is no question that the criminals involved WERE motivated by racial hatred.

    They’re feral, the parents that bred and abandoned them are feral, and their culture is feral, predatory, vicious, highly focused on perpetrating that racial.hatred – And they are VERY VERY proud of themselves.

    Think of all the parents who are complicit — who have not turned in their criminal progeny. They be VERY proud of their kids.

  • Mdp6725

    I wonder if Obama will be sending Eric Holder and 40 FBI Agents to investigate or does he just support Black people?

  • Sick_Of_Ghetto_Memphis

    And when I shoot and kill one of these low life scums because they try to hurt me, I bet Jesse jackson and Al Sharpton with show up. But you won’t find anyone standing up for these innocent victims.

  • Whatzat

    It’s a shame Chief Armstrong awa prosecutors office choose to fail these kids once again by brushing brutal activity aside as just ‘kids will be kids’. That’s exactly why they act like a pack of wild animals. They have had no one responsible to raise them (I.e. Parent mentioned in newscast). Detention may be their only salvation. Otherwise, how does one handle an attacking animal. Watching video, It hurts me to say I’m not completely opposed to bringing them down the hard way. Then we can watch the ‘parents’ cry what a good child they were on the next newscast

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