Two black males who attacked a white train passenger for refusing to discuss the Mike Brown shooting did not commit a hate crime according to the City of St. Louis.
The victim, who has thus far kept his identity private, was approached by the men last Monday and asked about his feelings on the Mike Brown incident.
After responding that he was “too tired to think about it,” the train passenger was violently assaulted by two of the young men in the group.
“I think it was disgusting that people were sort of laughing and smiling about it,” the man told CNN. “And no one offered to help.”
The St. Louis Circuit Attorney has since charged one individual, 20-year-old Ronald Williams, with misdemeanor assault for throwing a single punch at the end of the attack.
The main individual in the red shirt who initiated the violent encounter, a 15-year-old, is currently being processed by the juvenile court system.
Responding to questions, Chief Warrant Officer Ed Postawko explained why the city did not consider the attack a hate crime.
“We have to prove that the reason, the motivating factor for this specific crime, was not any of these other reasons, it was simply because of the factor of race or religion or national origin,” Postawko said.
Speaking with CBS St. Louis, local ADL Director Karen Aoresty argued that the incident should be investigated more closely.
“If in fact those kids did choose their victim because he was white, then there’s a legitimate question to ask whether or not hate crime enhancement is appropriate,” Aoresty said.
While some outright reject the basis of hate crime laws to begin with, noting that the motivation behind a crime does not change the crime itself, many others feel the law is selectively used in a politically correct fashion.
Police in St. Louis also refused to file hate crime charges last December when a group of black males killed a white Bosnian immigrant with a hammer shortly after residents began chanting “f*ck the white people” and “kill the white people.”