A Black suburban Chicago teen has been charged with a hate crime after
allegedly attacking a white man because he was upset about the Trayvon
Alton Hayes III, 18, allegedly approached a 19-year-old white male in
Oak Park, Ill. and said "empty your pockets, white boy," Oak Park Patch
reports. Hayes and an unidentified 15-year-old accomplice then proceeded to beat the man before running off, police told Patch.
After his arrest, Hayes reportedly told officers he was upset about the Martin case in Florida, and beat up the victim because he was white, CBS Chicago reports.
Martin, 17, was gunned down by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman on Feb. 26 near his Florida home. He was unarmed at the time, and his death sparked national outrage.
Hayes isn't the only person who has been charged in attacks allegedly stemming from the Martin case.
On Saturday, a group of African American youths allegedly beat white Mobile, Alabama resident Matthew Owens . Owens was critically injured in the attack, and the youths allegedly said "now that's justice for Trayvon" after the beating.
The Anti-Defamation League issued a statement to Patch condemning the Chicago area attack:
“We deplore this apparently bias-motivated attack. We
applaud law enforcement for taking this incident seriously and enhancing
the charge. Hate crimes have an impact far beyond the individual
victim of the crime," Lonnie Nasatir, the group's greater Chicago
director, said in a statement. "When a victim is chosen because of his
or her race, other members of that group feel unsafe and unwelcome. Law
enforcement’s response to this crime helps to send a clear message that
hate crimes will not be tolerated.”
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