A civil rights activist survived an attack where two racists threatened to lynch him in Indiana. Now, a prosecutor has decided to charge the victim in the incident. Booker claims it’s retaliation for his report against the men, The Guardian reported.
Last July, Vauhxx Booker and his friends were traversing a state park to view the lunar eclipse. A group of racists told the group that they were trespassing on private property. Booker apologized but later found out that the white man who told him it was private property was lying. That led to the group reencountering the racists.
Booker ended up on his knees at some point in the interaction while Sean Purdy, one of the attackers, pinned him to a tree. A second attacker, Jerry Cox, threatened witnesses who were filming the encounter. The victim claimed that the two threatened to lynch him, as he heard one of them say, “get a noose.”
Initially, Purdy and Cox were charged with criminal confinement, battery and intimidation by the Monroe County Prosecutor. It was a small victory for Booker.
However, things have gone awry. Now, a special prosecutor has charged Vauhxx Booker with misdemeanor trespass and felony battery more than a year after he was assaulted by Purdy and Cox.
Booker has called the decision an “outrageous act of punitive retaliation and prosecutorial vindictiveness.”
The Monroe County NAACP is demanding that charges against Booker be dropped, and they also want the special prosecutor, Sonia Leerkamp, to resign.
Cox and Purdy maintain that Booker threatened them first. However, the video that was posted of the incident last year does not demonstrate their claims. Further, witnesses attested to the fact that the men were racially abusive towards Booker.
An FBI investigation into the possibility of hate crime was initiated but has not yet yielded any publicized results.