Bradley County District Attorney: charge James Russell’s attackers with a hate crime

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Bradley County District Attorney: charge James Russell’s attackers with a hate crime

This petition had 8,669 supporters

Amanda Stinnett started this petition to District Attorney Bradley County District Attorney and

Recently, my 60-year old father was brutally attacked by a group of people near his home in Bradley County, Tennessee. The group followed him to his house, claiming that he ran one of their relatives off the road with his vehicle. He was confused by their accusation. It was a case of mistaken identity, but his attackers battered him anyway. Their beating broke his ribs, collapsed a lung, tore chest muscles, and left him with multiple cuts, abrasions, and bruises.

My dad is a military veteran, community advocate, a dancer, and a musician. He’s also Native American. During the attack, one of the men grabbed my father by his hair, pulled his head back and said “I’ve always wanted to scalp an Indian”. My dad believed they were going to kill him.

After an initial investigation, the Bradley County Sheriff considered the attack to be an aggravated assault, instead of a hate crime. This is important because hate crime charges carry much stiffer federal penalties than state-level assault charges. The sheriff’s deputies even released the other two involved in the attack shortly after they were arrested.

Thanks to the media coverage we’ve received so far, all three attackers have officially been charged with aggravated assault. But this simply isn’t enough.

My father has been released from the hospital, but he’s in hiding and fearful for his life after the “scalping” threat. He deserves justice. And no American should be attacked or feel afraid because of their identity or culture.

Please sign this petition and tell our local sheriff and district attorney to upgrade the charges for my father’s attacker from aggravated assault to the hate crime it truly was.

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This petition had 8,669 supporters