Hate Crime? White Man Beaten Into Critical Condition Over Racial Slurs

54 comments
April 25, 2012 ‐ By

Source: Newsone.com

Roughly 20 black men, women, and children are said to have been involved in a brutal beat down that occurred in Mobile, AL, Saturday and left the man seen here, Matthew Owens, in critical condition. Four days later, the circumstances surrounding the altercation are still a bit fuzzy.

Many reports on the attack have labelled it a hate crime while others have called it retaliation for Trayvon Martin since one of the men involved in the fight was heard saying, “Now that’s justice for Trayvon” when the beating ended. Mobile’s mayor Sam Jones says that quote has been blown out of proportion and new details suggest that Owens may have actually been the original aggressor in the altercation. One person told WPMI that Owens was spewing racial slurs at people on a basketball court and even pulled out two kitchen knives. Another witness quoted him as saying:

 “He’s going to lynch all the black kids, he hates black n***ers, he hates that we moved on this street.”

It’s these new details that have stopped investigators from looking into this beating as a hate crime, Mayor Jones says.

“Wait for the facts as far as we’re concerned right now,” he told Fox 10. “But, I would caution people to not jump to conclusions right now. This is really very divisive in communities throughout the country, and I don’t think we have any reason to be divisive here because I don’t see any evidence of that.”

Though Owens is awake now and says he doesn’t know why he was attacked, at the time, he was left unconscious with bleeding on his brain after the fight and witnesses say he was beaten with bricks, bats, and cans of paint by the mob. His wrap sheet doesn’t do much to clear claims that he may have been the aggressor in the case. He’s been booked on charges of assault, domestic violence, harassment and public intoxication in the past.  Despite whatever motivation may have led up to the incident, the brutality of the attack is rather extreme. Still, no one has been arrested thus far.

What do you think about this situation?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • amelle

    I dont understand why everyone’s being so racial about it, its their business not yours. This sort of crap happens all the time just because they all happen to black and he happens to be white isnt the problem. Tbh they dont make it out to be a racial thing when a group of white men beat up a person of another race so why are people trying to make it out like it is when its the other way around, race doesnt matter. People need to stop separating themselves into groups because we are all individuals, born alone so you need to learn to walk alone.

  • amelle

    I dont understand why everyone’s being so racial about it, its their business not yours. This sort of crap happens all the time just because they all happen to black and he happens to be white isnt the problem. Tbh they dont make it out to be a racial thing when a group of white men beat up a person of another race so why are people trying to make it out like it is when its the other way around, race doesnt matter. People need to stop separating themselves into groups because we are all individuals, born alone so you need to learn to walk alone.

  • amelle

    I dont understand why everyone’s being so racial about it, its their business not yours. This sort of crap happens all the time just because they all happen to black and he happens to be white isnt the problem. Tbh they dont make it out to be a racial thing when a group of white men beat up a person of another race so why are people trying to make it out like it is when its the other way around, race doesnt matter. People need to stop separating themselves into groups because we are all individuals, born alone so you need to learn to walk alone.

  • maria

    I don’t know I sometimes get angry that there still racism around Im wondering how can we all resolved social injustices without comming to violent acts. Maybe we need to talk it out whites and blacks and other minorities together and for God’s sake if you’re white and not racist show it! Stand up for injustices if you see them,I think that will be a good standpoint for a better race relations and excuse my english not my first language and God bless

  • http://www.facebook.com/babette.aben.cohen Elizabeth Cohen

    No matter what the man said or did NO ONE, black, white, purple or green deserve to receive such a beating, that could have led to his death. What a terrible thing to teach little children, it’s okay to beat a human being. This country has become worse that it was 20 years ago. NO ONE DESERVES TO BE BEATEN.

  • Lrywlf

    I would be interested to know the ethnicity of the witnesses. This story has been ignored by the mainstream media. I have to wonder if the mob had been white and the victim black would it be reported? The media invented racial slurs when Pelosi led her fishing expidition at the Capitol when Obama care was shoved down our throats. In spite of massive video and audio evidence that no racial slurs or spit were used the media and the kool-aid drinkers will still tell you it happened.So if this victim can be made to look like a racist the media can ignore the fact that this was a mob of folks looking for an excuse to hurt a white man.

  • Exile714

    I would like to point out that when the news reported on Trayvon Martin’s rap sheet (see correct spelling) it was called out for being racist. Of course, it had nothing to do with whether he was the aggressor. Nobody is suggesting that Owens was an aggressor, so his prior assault, domestic violence and intoxication cases are irrelevant. Maybe, just maybe, one can argue that he was verbally abusive but nothing verbal justifies assault and certainly not this level of savagery. This is irresponsible journalism to the same degree as talking about Trayvon’s rap sheet and neither is acceptable.

    • Lrywlf

      The media is full of it. They will still try to tell us that the tea party spit at and used racial slurs when Pelosi led the parade of black congresspeople through them,twice. There is massive video and audio proof that no spit or slurs flew but that matters not. If we let them the media, our leadership, and the race baiters(Sharpton,Jackson) will have the races divided forever. They have found ways to profit from the racial problems we have and would hate to see them end.

  • Jut Von14

    A lot of ignorant stuff has been posted here. Truth will eventually prevail. If the idiot pulled out knives and threatened people somebody should have shot his stupid a$$ and left him laying there with the knives in his hand. However someone saying he pulled out knives to justify jumping on a person 20 deep (let’s not forget how pu$$y this is to do) could be bearing false witness. For those saying “we” are better than “them” in any capacity, or let him feel the pain we feel (not necessarily me as an individual, but in reference to past ancestors when I haven’t endured $#!+) is only shaming the names of those who fought for true EQUALITY through NONVIOLENT means!!!!

  • oh well

    It seems that folks missed reading the part that said he pulled out two kitchen knives. I think that at that point the people he was threatening had an obligation to incapacitate him lest he start slashing folks. Were they supposed to let him run around and possibly slash somebody’s child or were they supposed to beat him into submission. I’d go with the latter.  He got exactly what he was asking for/deserved.

  • Noah

    American History X…that movie said it all…violence, whether it is verbal or physical leads to violence…i guess his sorry @ss learnt it the hard way…

  • Spongexwax

    American History X…that movie said it all…violence, whether its verbal or physical, leads to violence, its a vicious circle…and his sorry a** learnt it the hard way…

  • Chanda

    You live and you learn. Unfortunately, he had to learn the hard way. Times have changed, boo.

  • Mymorgan1979

    Well that’s the price he pays for talking out the side of his neck. Think before you speak next time…especially to a black person who will HARDLY roll over and play dead about something like this. #damn idiot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000055021954 Llauren Dawn

    why cant we just care and love each other?  poor man….. :(

    • A.J.

      That goes both ways, obviously this man wasn’t caring and loving the people whom he viciously taunted.

    • Mymorgan1979

      I wish this was a come together moment, as well Llauren. But truth be told, he was an adult and they were children. He had no business taunting them like that. He’s just as much of a culprit in this situation like they are. To get respect, you have to give it. Plain & simple.

      • Lrywlf

        Have you ever tried to drive down a street where a bunch of black kids are playing basketball in the street? Just stop and politely ask them to move. You will get respect, all right.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Darryl-Dnice-Williams/100002427512301 Darryl Dnice Williams

    Sad, But b careful what u ask for !!!!   

  • Jess

    We are in a different day and age where none of that talk is going to slide and we will not tolerate that type of talk so much our people have fought for back in those days they were scared but this generation we are not scared at all. We are born and built better physically then they are and we are fighting for what we deserve and that might mean whipping some a** when disrespected. SO if you don’t like us then stay the hell away from us and keep your mouth shut. Don’t start nothing won’t be nothing. I am glad he is alive to feel the pain that we have felt for so long and continues to feel it and remember every time he decides to think to say something horrible he feels the beat down. IM JUST SAYING.

    • Lrywlf

      I’ve never used that kind of language and don’t plan to. I had a young black man shoot me a curve and tell a lady who offered him a sandwich that he hates mayonaise almost as much as he hates white people but I don’t do that sort of thing.
      I’ll mind my own business but if Zimmerman is aquitted and any black folks try to take it out on me they better be ready because there is no soft target here. I’m well  armed and will not go to intensive care by myself. I learned in Vietnam that firepower goes a long ways.

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  • Artscola

    Common sense just ain’t too common nowadays!

  • Cha Cha

    At some point, people have got to just walk away… why does everyone, no matter the race, always resort to violence? I just don’t get people… what disturbs me is that it says he was beaten by men, women and CHILDREN… I mean, what are we teaching our kids… that everyone time someone says something you don’t like, beat them to damn near death? I don’t condone what he said, did or whatever… but we’ve got to have some other reaction then physical violence… Just because he got beat to near death, he’s still going to be an ingnorant prick… F*ck em, and keep it moving. He’s probaby a miserable, bitter man… and I’m sure this won’t change that.

    • Lrywlf

      The Zimmerman thing has things stirred up. Any wise white person will be aware of where they are when the verdict comes out. If he’s aquitted I am not going to be in a black area. And I will be well armed until this is all cooled down. I won’t go to intensive care by myself.
      I can’t control other peoples reactions so I just try to be ready for anything. I learned in Vietnam that the time to get some is before the other guy does. I keep my head down, my mouth shut ,and my finger on the trigger, so to speak.

  • FromUR2UB

    Well, if he did this, then shame on him for not having enough sense not to go somewhere where he was outnumbered, and start trouble.  How else do people learn that they shouldn’t mess with folks, unless they get beaten up?  Freedom of speech doesn’t give anybody the right to verbally abuse other people. 

  • FromUR2UB

    Well, if he did this, then shame on him for not having enough sense not to go somewhere where he was outnumbered, and start trouble.  How else do people learn that they shouldn’t mess with folks, unless they get beaten up?  Freedom of speech doesn’t give anybody the right to verbally abuse other people. 

    • Lrywlf

      And an idiot running his mouth doesn’t excuse a mob of twenty people nearly killing him. They belong in prison.

      • FromUR2UB

        Events like this is how idiots smarten up.  Apparently, he was under the impression that his actions carry no consequence.

  • L-Boogie

     Sad!

  • Miss Anonymous

    For every action there is a equal or greater reaction. You can go around saying whatever your little heart desires, but dont get upset if your mouth writes a check your behind cant cash.

  • Msnaimah1985

    Arrests? Hmm seeing that it took almost 12 weeks to arrests George Zimmerman when he blatantly confessed to killing unarmed Trayvon, I would see it as a hate crime to arrests anyone involved while the details and the facts of who was an aggressor are still not clear. America the home of the……freaking retarded. SMH.

  • ieshapatterson

    lol yeah..it didn’t go down the right way,but white people today are growing a back bone to racism.they “try” to cover everything up with a joke or better yet,their freedom of speech.because of these so called reasons and some are even saying it’s their right.people are tossing around racial slurs like it’s nobody’s business.but if you think you can say something that degrades somebody’s race and think you’ll get away with it,well then just remember that it’s my and other people’s right to defend ourselves.i think he got what he deserve.nobody is going to bow down and say yes massa(you’re 137 years late for that treatment) so don’t be surprise when the beating comes around.he should be thanking God,that he’s not dead.

    • Hallieplees

      AMEN!

    • Lrywlf

      The only racial slurs I’ve been hearing are coming from black people. And I live in East Texas. The “N” word is spoken by black folks most commonly these days.
      And am I the only one who is tired of black folks blaming every negative thing that happens to them on racism? This country has made more advances in the area of racism than any other country and yet all we hear is complaints. We even have a black president and yet still no credit at all. I don’t think anything will be good enough. In which case y’all can go piss up a rope.

      • ieshapatterson

        well hooray for you.i don’t care were you live and i don’t care what you think.so what? your one of those fools who use obama as an excuse,to say that racism is over?? lol what pot have you been smoking?? for starters you live in Texas,which is one of the most racist states in our country,so i’m not surprise by you stupidity.secondly,yes black people use the N word,why? i don’t know.but it’s makes no sense and it shows how some blacks can’t/won’t wake up to what that word REALLY means.and they need to.there’s nothing good about it even saying it,in a loving way. and as for the so called advances,yes we have,but if you notice i said-racism is making a comeback and people(mainly whites) are growing a backbone and trying to say it’s their right to use it.stupid people like you get on my nerves immensely,try to use common sense and think outside of your own little atmosphere.then you’ll sound a lot more intelligent.   

      • ieshapatterson

        lol ask me if i care?? oh wait i don’t.you’ve proven your stupidity on some many different levels that it’s not even funny.so what? where you live nobody is racist(rolls eyes) white people like you are the same one’s who want to use racists slurs and get away with it and God forbid anyone say anything because if they do,well then their playing the race card.okay,we have a black president?? YOUR POINT WAS?!? damn,it’s true when the say common sense isn’t so common.so what?we have a black pres.if anything,the country showed how racists it really was by joining online kkk sites,making degrading blogs about obama BECAUSE he’s black.get your head out of the sand and realize racism will ALWAYS be around and so will the fight to prevent it.

  • LUVBNBLK

    If this was a 1 on 1 fight and he got his butt whipped I couldn’t say much, but to jump the dude (regardless of what he said) is a b!tcha$$ move. All they had to do was record him and call the cops to arrest him for terrorist threats or have one dude challenge him to a 1 on 1 fight and whip his assests.

    • Miss Anonymous

      They recorded Rodney King and we all see how that went, also didnt they record the black guy who was lying on the ground and got shot in the back by the officer?

      • LUVBNBLK

        If you are going to beat someone’s a$$ be smart about it is all I’m saying. If he didn’t put his hands on anyone then the folks who jumped him can get jail time. If they recorded him at least ONE of them could easily justify a beatdown, but 25 folks whooping his a$$ is literally overkill (and highly criminal) and most likely can’t be justified in court. I never WILLINGLY give “other” folks a reason to steal my freedom. 

        • Miss Anonymous

          Well the man “technically’ committed assault. As it was explained to me, it is the threat of violence. Assault is usually associated with battery.  But then it could have been put down as he said she said, oh they just dont like me because im .

        • Artscola

          Yup, most of these type of people won’t put their hands on anyone, but try to evoke a negative response to make a whole race of people look like savages.

    • Hallieplees

      He got what he deserved….a good old fashioned azz whipping. He should be grateful that they spared his miserable pathetic life…Now what he should do once he recovers from this beat down ( regardless of what capacity), is find himself a church and try to establish a relationship with God.

  • A.J.

    Well, it’s not like he didn’t do anything to deserve it.  White people think that they can say anything they want to Black people, no matter how derogatory it is.  That was some hateful stuff that he said.  I’m not condoning violence by any means, but Black people have had enough, and we’ve gotten to a point where we’re not taking this anymore.  We have to start fighting back how we can.

    • Lrywlf

      Let me tell you about a hateful racist comment I heard,AJ. I was in a job trailer in Houston with two black men, a black women and one Hispanic man. The lady offered the younger black man a sandwich. He declined it when she told him it had mayonaise on it.He said he hated mayonaise almost as much as he hated white people(I’m white).
      And it would take a lot to convince me that if a video of the Martin kid attacking Zimmerman existed that the black community wouldn’t still want Zimmerman’s head. Like in the Duke rape case guilt or innocence is not a factor.  The only pertinant factor is that Zimmerman is white.(White Hispanic, my Aunt Fanny) It is about revenge, not justice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003389784689 Sarah Reed

    He deserved it. It should happen to any a**hole that says that s**t to us.

    • mintjulep2000@yahoo.com

      nobody deserves verbal threats or physical abuse. martin luther king said

      Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • Liyah

    This is not the 30s, 40s, and 50s!! Blacks are not going to just lay down and be a victim. We WILL fight you back. All violence is bad, but we know it’s never going away. 

    • Lrywlf

      Twenty black folks beating a single person? I wasn’t there and don’t know what happened but if Zimmerman gets aquitted I will not be a victim to a black mob without getting some myself. I will be heavily armed and will defend myself. I spent enough time in Vietnam to know how to lay down some seroius firepower. No soft target here.
      I don’t bother anybody and nobody bothers me. Not twice anyway. I haven’t bothered any black folks and they had best not bother me. I feel the way the lady on top of “A Tribute to the Heros of the Texas Revolution”. She is extending the olive branch of peace with her right hand and holding a sword out from her side in her left hand. I love peace but my sword is wicked sharp and I know how to use it.

  • StuckInDaMatrix

    Not all blacks are coons shucking and jiving for the white man and other races!  Some have respect and will defend themselves at any cost.  But, it sounds like mob mentality where it just escalated from verbal to physical.  Well sounds like he won’t be going into any basketball courts anytime soon.

    • Darkfather504

       and think 8 times before he opens his mouth knowing he was out his jurisdiction

      • StuckInDaMatrix

        Very true!

    • Hallieplees

      I bet he’ll think twice before he threatens some body else kids too!

  • Candacey Doris

    So let me sum this up. This man goes to a basketball court, starts talking about killing black kids and then catches the beat down of a lifetime. Is anyone surprised?People are too tense since it seems like all you need to do when killing a black person is claim self defense. The fact that they left him alive is kind of surprising. I’m in no way condoning halfway killing a man who hadn’t yet done anything, but I’m not shocked.

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