Mistrial Declared On Hate Crime Charges

Donald Williams Jr.

Donald Williams Jr.

Three students were charged in a high-profile 2013 hate crime case at San Jose State University. They were also charged with battery for putting a bike lock around the neck Donald Williams Jr. a Black freshman. All three were found guilty of misdemeanor battery. They can serve up to six months in jail.  One has escaped conviction on the hate crime charge, and the jury hung on deciding the fate of the two others. A fourth student has been charged as a juvenile in the case. There is no available information on that case.

The defendants are Colin Warren of Woodacre (20) , Logan Beaschler of Bakersfield (20), and Joseph “Brett” Bomgardner, of Clovis (21).  The charges came due to varying degrees of subjecting Donald Williams Jr., who was 17, to repeated bullying that prosecutors say rose to the level of a hate crime during the fall of 2013.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office says it will consider asking for a retrial on the hate crime charges.

San Jose State University President Mo Qayoumi took personal responsibility for the student’s behavior. The bullying included putting a U-shaped bike lock around Williams’ neck, refusal to give him the key, trying to lock him in a closet and displaying a Confederate flag in their shared suite. Prosecutors claimed the defendants also called him “three-fifths” and “fraction,” referring to the fraction the U.S. Census used to count black slaves in the South in the 18th and early 19th centuries for the purpose of representation in Congress.

“This violence did not happen in a historical vacuum,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said Monday. “This violent act was done to a young black college student by five white men, an injustice inflicted upon him because of the color of his skin.”

There is a $5 million lawsuit pending against the defendants and the university.

With the confederate flag and swastika being displayed, the jury should not have doubted that Donald was being insulted, demeaned, and treated cruelly because of his race.

The Young Turks bring out more about the case including the logic that allowed the jury to close their eyes to the racial animus.

 

 

Posted on 02/28/2016, in Cases, civil rights, Trial Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 41 Comments.

  1. “San Jose State University President Mo Qayoumi took personal responsibility for the student’s behavior.”

    How could this not have factored in the jury’s decision?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. No comment!!! Today is Sunday and I don’t feel like getting upset.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Roach. I know the feeling.

      Liked by 4 people

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      I know, roach. What they did to Donald was chilling.

      They did not just assault Donald’s body, they assaulted and tortured his psyche with images of darkness. The atrocities committed under that Confederate flag…the brutality of slavery, horrific lynchings, mob violence that wiped out whole communities of African Americans, Jim Crow with its convict lease system, and bombings and beatings when people tried to register to vote or integrate.

      Liked by 3 people

      • …and for what???????

        Liked by 1 person

        • yahtzeebutterfly

          “…and for what???????”

          For nothing. For no reason. Donald had done Nothing to them.

          That is what is so terrifying! How could Donald have possibly anticipated it? Avoided it?
          No way could he see it coming!

          That’s what would leave me with chills on my shoulders, my ears and eyes because I never would know again a calm because I would know anything could come at me from behind. I would never feel safe again after such a traumatic, cruel assault.

          Liked by 4 people

          • There’s a new story out. Check this one out. I just saw it online:

            Cops Kill Sleeping Couple In Their Car

            A man and woman were killed in the Inglewood Ca., after police said they felt threatened and the women possessed a gun. But, this is no ordinary stand-off. The Mayor of Inglewood says the couple was actually unconscious when police shot them! James Blunt spoke to NBC4 News about the incident here:

            How does this even happen??? Of Course, LAPD is declining to respond until they ‘collect all the details’. Kisha Michael 31, was killed along side Marquintin Sandlin 32, both single parents who were dating. Trisha Michael, Kisha’s twin sister said she tried to get more details about what actually happened and police left her questions unsatisfied according to the LATimes. Trisha also stated that Kisha never owned a gun. Both victims are described as devoted parents by their families.

            Liked by 3 people

            • yahtzeebutterfly

              I already had shutters running through me, and now I just read your news story here…

              Liked by 2 people

            • Roach, yesterday on a whim, I caught an episode of Cops. A car was driving all over the road, so the cop turned on his lights and then the car took off. The chase was on. The car ran up on the sidewalk at about 80 mph. The cops, with guns drawn, approached the car. They yelled, “Let me see your hands. Show me your hands.” But when the cop opened the driver’s door, the man was slumped over.

              The couple was elderly; drunk. Helicopters were called to take them to the nearest hospital.

              My friend who was over, and who I might want to point out is White, said without hesitation, “If the driver had been Black, the cop would not have opened the driver’s door before shooting off his gun”

              America is waking up.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Oh unfortunately…. everybody knows what time it is. This is not new and what amazes me is that: THIS IS 2016. When will this madness stop? I told you earlier to leave me alone, it’s Sunday… and now you’ve gotten me real ill!!!

              Like

            • Oh-oh Roach. I’m in trouble — didn’t mean to make you ill. That portion of your comment brought back a pleasant memory of my childhood. I remembered the times when my mom would say along the lines, “Don’t make me have to come in there” or “Don’t give me a headache.” One night, my sister and I called our mom to the kitchen and handed her an aspirin saying, “This is because you would come in here and we might give you a headache.” We all rolled with laughter.

              Liked by 1 person

            • Too funny. But… the situation at hand is not funny at all!

              Like

            • Roach,
              I know. It’s a sad state.

              Liked by 1 person

      • I just nominated you for an award…

        Like

  3. I think it’s high time the US looked at implementing an inquisitorial justice system like they have in France and Spain. The American adversarial justice system simply doesn’t work for people or victims of heinous crimes such as this. It definitely doesn’t work for rape victims.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Stuart, that is true. A jury of “peers” seldom exists. Too often, victims are placed on trial rather than defendants.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly. It doesn’t work for a lot of civil matters like fraud and such. You get victimized, prove everything, pay an attorney, lose the value of something in question and still get nothing.

      Violent crimes…….I don’t even want to get started on that one, being the victim of one.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. yahtzeebutterfly

    This was a racially motivated hate crime. No doubt about it. The jury failed to bring Donald the justice he deserved. His assaulters, in my strong opinion, should have been found guilty of a hate crime and of assault, not battery.

    How could the members of the jury NOT call it a hate crime? How could they not see all the clues—the physical symbols and the racial words that the three white students used?! Well, I imagine that that all-white jury did not value Donald as much as they valued the three white students.

    See, we have to look at this on a deeper, more serious level. Here were four students in a rooming situation, as I understand it, who shared a common suite. Three were white, and one black. The three white students said/implied so much by how they filled that space: how they decked it out with a Confederate flag, a swastika, and the “n” word written on a board, how they “chained” Donald with a bike lock around his neck relegating him to the closet, and how they valued him at three fifths of a person, harking back to the value our government placed upon slaves.

    If this episode does not reflect our country’s history, I don’t know what does.

    The value these three white students placed on African American Donald Williams Jr. goes back to the founding of our country where our Founders declared that ours would be a country of liberty and equality at the SAME time they owned slaves. This is what Professor Glaude refers to as the “value gap” in our country: Whites are valued and Blacks are not. Our society was organized by individuals who believed themselves to be superior…John Quincy Adams complained to the British that they were treating the colonists like negroes: Adams declared to King George, ”We will not be your negroes.”
    (p. 37 of Glaude’s 2016 book titled Democracy in Black )

    We must not miss the symbolism of this hateful episode because it IS a mirror of our history as society.

    Donald was placed into a closet where he experienced claustrophobic effects.

    How many times have we historical rendered the plight of Black community invisible, rendering it to a closet in our consciousness? How many times have we closeted (and redlined) Blacks into concentrated residential areas and forced them to only be able to buy homes on contracts and not through mortgages?

    Donald was bound and restricted by a bike lock around his neck which constricted his breathing.

    How many Blacks have struggled to just keep their heads economically above water? How has their upward mobility been restricted through discrimination? Just the fact that the white students used a bike lock made me think how so many Blacks have been kept from good “vehicles” that would aid in upward mobility…quality schools, medical and social services, availability of jobs and good transportation to get to them, the list goes on. How many Blacks gasp for survival when those vehicles are not there? Yeah, that bike lock around Donald’s neck really had some symbolic significance for me.

    And, then to see how those three White students dared to define the environment that they wanted Donald to live in. What they decked that room out with showed that they wanted to subjugate Donald with all that the Confederate flag symbolizes and to value his life as little as that nazi flag implied…as a “n” with no value.

    Theirs was definitely a hate crime against Donald.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. What an aggregation of assclowns.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. yahtzeebutterfly

    Here is the PDF of Donald Williams lawsuit against San Jose State University.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The mistrial barely made the news here…

    Like

    • Juan,
      I applaud the juror or jurors who stood their position on guilt, because at least it did not set the defendants totally free.

      Liked by 2 people

      • When the misdeed happened there were news vans circling around SJSU, when the mistrial was declared, it was barely mentioned…

        Like

        • Juan,
          I wonder if the media would have been quiet had the two been convicted of committing a hate crime? I cannot find any report on how many jurors voted guilty or not-guilty. Generally, when a prosecutor says they will retry, it’s because there were more votes from the jury for guilty than not-guilty. I hope they do re-try on the hate crime charge.

          Like

  8. …and unfortunately, the saga continues.

    Like

  9. yahtzeebutterfly

    As I think of those three white students and their vile assault upon Donald:

    “Our dehumanization of the Negro is indivisible from our dehumanization of ourselves; the loss of our own identity is the price we pay for our annulment of his.”
    ~James Baldwin

    Like

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