Arrest The Men Who Tried to Lynch Vauhxx Booker
Arrest The Men Who Tried to Lynch Vauhxx Booker
On the Fourth of July Vauhxx Booker, a black human rights commissioner in Monroe County was attacked by a group of white men who threatened to lynch him with a noose.
Booker, with his friends and other individuals, had planned to enjoy the lunar eclipse at lake Monroe in place of celebrating independence day. According to Booker, they “were simply looking forward to a night of enjoying nature’s awesome beauty.”
On route to the park, Booker and his friend came across an apparently drunk, big, white male who was wearing a large hat with a confederate flag printed on it. While the encounter felt awkward, they politely continued without engaging with the man, when they noticed that he was following them in an ATV (all-terrain vehicle). They decided to stop as the man drove up behind the pair, stating they were on private property. Booker and his friend apologized and explained how they believed that the organizers had taken permission from the owners of the property to allow them to cross, but left regardless, continuing on to the site without any further confrontation.
After arrival, they imparted the details of the incident to the organizer of the event, who expressed that the man they encountered was not the owner of the property and apologized. From then on, they advised others heading to the site to use the public beach but later found out that the same individuals who ended up attacking Booker were blocking the beach route with a boat and their ATVs, claiming it to be their land. When individuals heading to the event tried to cross, these men shouted “white power” at them, continuing to act as barriers.
Booker and a few others decided to attempt a conversation with the men, who had expanded in number from the original sole individual wearing the confederate hat earlier from the evening. They were calm and polite, but according to Booker, looking back at the moment, “it [was] apparent that these individuals began targeting our group the moment they saw [him], a Black man and were looking to provoke a conflict.”
The men were initially calm for a moment, but the situation quickly escalated as they became aggressive. Booker and the small group decided to leave via the public beach, but the men angrily told them to use a trail. They complied, and Booker and his friend started walking away to return back to the site. Barely a moment later, the men started to follow, shouting, when two of them jumped Booker from behind, knocking him to the ground. Quickly, three other men piled on while they brawled on the ground.
“The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down. They held me pinned and continued beating me for several minutes seemingly become more and more enraged as they kept trying to seriously injure me and failing. At one point during the attack, one of the men jumped on my neck. I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.” said Booker, recounting the attack on Facebook.
At this particular moment, the conflict escalated further, attracting a larger crowd, most of whom Booker did not know. One of the men’s teenage daughter was also screaming for her father and his fellow attackers to let Booker go. They responded to the increasing group that “[they were] going to break his arms” while pinning Booker’s arms behind him, trying to “bend” them and calling for others in the attacking party to “get a noose”, with other slurs. As seen in videos released (attached), they shouted at bystanders to leave the “boy” and that all of the white onlookers may leave, who shouted back that “they wouldn’t leave [Booker] to be killed.”
A few white allies intervened, removing the attackers from atop of Booker but the drunk men (with beer cans in their hands) continued to follow them, shouting slurs and striking bystanders while Booker and others tried to explain that they were on public park land. Others intervened, eventually stopping the drunken group from their pursuit.
At this point, Booker and others called 911 and were transferred to DNR (conservation officers responsible for “enforcing laws and regulations under the jurisdiction of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources”, according to michigan.gov). The DNR arrived after a period of time but immediately went to check on the attackers first.
Upon finally arriving to check on Booker and fellow witnesses who were situated at the beach near their campsite, who all shared videos and testimonies of the attack, the DNR refused to arrest the individuals. They stated that “they contacted the Prosecutor’s office who relayed there was no immediate need to arrest anyone, and that the officers would simply file a report”, despite the attack occurring on public ground with multiple pieces of evidence, eyewitnesses, and the gravity of the hate crime.
This cannot end here. We must call for action and express our outrage that in 2020, an attempted lynching by individuals who are nothing less than dangerous white supremacists, cannot be left unheard. We cannot wait for a dead body before a change is made.
Vauhxx Booker was not the first black individual villainized and attacked. Not even five months after the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery of men of similar like, this is an unacceptable atrocity.
Besides signing this petition, which I implore you to do to have our voices heard, please ask that the Monroe County Prosecutor Erika Oliphant swiftly act to bring these individuals to justice.
Additionally, do support Vauhxx Booker’s activism by following his public figure Facebook page:
Black lives matter. But we cannot only speak out when the attacks and lynchings are successful. These men must be arrested and locked away.