White Man Charged With 'Knockout Game' Hate Crime
WASHINGTON -- A 27-year-old Texas man was arrested by federal
authorities on Thursday for allegedly filming himself punching a
79-year-old African-American man and breaking his jaw. Authorities say
the assailant was attempting to see whether a "knockout" attack on a
black victim would be nationally televised.
Conrad Alvin Barrett was arrested and accused of punching the unnamed
victim last month and filming the assault. Barrett allegedly showed the
video to a man outside a restaurant who he didn't realize was an
off-duty investigator. In the video, the attacker approaches the elderly
African-American man, asks him "How's it going, man?" and proceeds to
punch him before laughing, saying "knockout" and fleeing in a vehicle.
Barett has been charged with a hate crime.
According to the federal complaint, in another video found on his
cell phone, Barrett allegedly says that African-Americans "haven't fully
experienced the blessing of evolution" and uses the n-word. The
complaint alleges Barrett said he had been trying to get up the
"courage" to play the knockout game for a week.
The “knockout game," in which an assailant attempts to knock out a
victim with one punch, has received a lot of press recently, though
similar attacks have dated back as far as 1992, according to the
“Hate crimes tear at the fabric of entire communities,” Acting
Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Justice Department's
Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “As always, the Civil Rights
Division will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners
to ensure that hate crimes are identified and prosecuted, and that
justice is done.”
Barrett's attorney, George Parnham, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Huffington Post. However, Parnham told CNN that his client, who is currently in jail, has bipolar disorder and takes medication.
Barrett will appear in court on Friday. He faces a maximum of 10 years and a $250,000 fine if convicted.