To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Attempted lynching of Bloomington man at Lake Monroe
It is your duty to see the offenders in this attempted lynching arrested and brought to justice.
This is obviously a hate crime and should be treated as such.
In Booker’s own words:
Two of them jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground. I tussled with the two and another one joined in, then two more. The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down. They held me pinned and continued beating me for several minutes seemingly become more and more enraged as they kept trying to seriously injure me and failing. At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck. I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.
At this point the commotion and the sounds one of the men’s young teenage daughter screaming for her father and the others to let me go started attracting more people, (most whom I didn’t know) who started attempting to intervene. The attackers told the growing group, “we’re going to break his arms” (while literally attempting to bend my arms behind me) and then stated to the members of their party several times to, “get a noose”, amongst some other choice slurs. With me still pinned underneath them they kept telling onlookers to leave the, “boy” and that everyone else (all white) could go. Folks then started filming the confrontation, and shouting that they wouldn’t leave me to be killed.
Imagine this happening to you. Imagine the rage you would feel if:
When DNR eventually arrived they didn’t contact us to ensure that no one was injured, instead they went directly to speak with the other individuals (attackers) first. When they finally came to the beach near our campsite where we were all waiting, multiple individuals who didn’t know each other shared videos and relayed that the individuals had yelled “white power” and a litany of other derogatory remarks, and threatened my life multiple times, and also assaulted an approximately 60 year old man who stopped to film the encounter. Yet DNR refused to arrest any of these individuals, even with multiple the witnesses several who filmed the event and collaborated our accounts. Instead the officers stated they contacted the Prosecutor’s office who relayed there was no immediate need to arrest anyone, and that the officers would simply file a report.
Bloomington we’ve had three public incidents involving overtly racists individuals who were then backed by the police within a month. Are we going to wait for a Black person to be lying dead in the gutter before we act? When is enough actually enough?
So simply charging the racist lynch mob with assault and attempted murder is not enough in this case. Your office should work to ensure that the officers who responded to this call are relieved of duty, and their superiors held accountable for their inaction and dereliction of their responsibility to public safety.
Ricky de Laveaga