Advocates want hate crime charge in case of child pushed off bike in Deep River
DEEP RIVER, CT (WFSB) - Advocates called for a hate crime charge in a case of a biracial child who was pushed off a bicycle by a man in Deep River.
Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber, president of the Connecticut State Missionary Baptist Convention, and the victim’s mother, Desiree Dominique, participated in a news conference at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Deep River Town Hall.
Kimber identified the victim as 11-year-old Daniel Duncan.
State police arrested 48-year-old Jameson Chapman for the incident, which happened on June 27 and was caught on camera.
The video showed Chapman yelling at the boy before shoving him off the bike.
Dominique said that Chapman accidentally bumped into her son, then took his anger out on Daniel.
In the video, Chapman could be heard asking the boy if he grew up in Connecticut. When Daniel said “no,” Champion said “exactly, so get the [expletive] out of town.”
Kimber argues that Daniel was attacked for riding his bicycle while Black in Deep River.
Activists have contacted the State Attorney’s office in Middletown to see if Chapman can be charged with a hate crime.
“Why did he have to single out the one biracial black individual?” said Kimber.
“He’s traumatized. He’s avoiding places and people,” said Desiree.
Daniel is doing ok physically. He had some scrapes and bruises.
But his mother said the emotional impact will stay with him for a while. He was supposed to be at Wednesday’s press conference, but it may have been too much for him.
Eyewitness News showed former prosecutor and Criminal Justice Professor Mike Lawlor the video.
“You’ve seen the video. Is there enough to charge him with a hate crime?” Eyewitness News asked.
“The comments that Mr. Chapman made are clearly indicated racial animus. He talked about are you really from here and stuff like that. There’s a basis to consider a hate crime charge but that’s going to be up to the prosecutors based on all the evidence that’s available to them,” said Lawlor, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven.
Prosecutors would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Daniel was assaulted because of his race.
“The prosecutors would need specific evidence to indicate that,” said Lawlor.
“I don’t think it’s a tough charge to prove,” Kimbell said.
The States Attorney’s office said it is reviewing all of the evidence and police reports.
Chapman’s next court appearance is set for July 22.
Chapman was charged with second-degree breach of peace, risk of injury to a child and third-degree assault. He was released after he posted bail.
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