UPDATE! Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit notes that “Minnesota Men” are also accused of crimes. How should these be reported?
I’ve never liked the idea that a crime is more important because it is motivated by hate or racial animus.
I also hate it when folks bury the lede – the important part of the story.
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Two Kansas Men Charged for Attacking Somali Men Because of their Race and National Origin
Omar Cantero Martinez, 31, and Armando Sotelo, 24, both of Dodge City, Kansas, were charged with federal hate crimes for attacking three Somali men because of their race and national origin. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall of the District of Kansas made the announcement.
The indictment, which was unsealed today, charges Martinez and Sotelo with three counts of causing bodily injury to a victim because of actual and perceived race and national origin. The charges are filed under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which criminalizes willfully causing bodily injury to any person because of that person’s actual or perceived race, color, religion or national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
The indictment alleges that on June 19, 2015, Martinez and Sotelo caused bodily injury to three Somali men who were lawfully present in the United States and residing in Dodge City. The attackers are alleged to have used a broken glass bottle in the assault against two of the Somali men. [Emphasis mine. – Dave]
That’s not the entire press release, but the writer included an odd phrase.
“…who were lawfully present in the United States.”
I actually did wonder about that. Unfortunately we never learn in this release if Martinez and Sotelo are lawfully present in the United States.
A federal case is also pending against Omar Martinez for illegal re-entry into the United States after he previously was deported to Mexico.
Several “news” sources omitted that fact, and the press release from the Justice Department ignores that fact as well. Most of the stories refer to Martinez and Sotelo as “Kansas men” or “Dodge City men.” In fact, most of the news outlets reprinted major parts of the press release verbatim.