Two Black Louisiana teens were beaten during a Christmas Eve bonfire after talking to a White girl.
On Thursday, police arrested 21-year-old James Hitt of Gramercy, LA for aggravated second degree battery. Hitt was one of a group of five to six White males who allegedly attacked a 15-year-old Sam Scott and his 17-year-old cousin Shannon Dumas Sunday night.
“A white girl started talking to one of my black friends and they were running it with each other and she had a boyfriend and her boyfriend got mad,” Dumas told WAFB.
He said after exchanging words, he asked the man if he wanted to fight.
“He was like yeah, so I took my jacket off and when I took my jacket off, somebody hit me with a bottle and I fell and they hit me again and I fell again and they started jumping me,” he continued.
“The dude’s friends ended up sneaking me from behind and they had pulled me by the hood of my jacket,” Scott said.
The family doesn’t believe law enforcement is handling the case as vigilantly as they should. Sam’s mother La’Quesha Scott took to social media to share the incident and is urging for the attack to be recognized as a hate crime. She posted devastating photos of Dumas’ battered face following the attack to Facebook.
St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy Chief Sid Berthelot claims the department is working to catch the attackers.
“I want to get people in jail for it,” said Sid Berthelot, deputy chief with the St. James Parish Sheriff’s Office. “Totally uncalled for, what happened. It’s a shame. We’re going to bring the people who did this to justice.”
Sheriff Willy Martin claims there’s no proof the assault was racially motivated.
“I don’t see anything that supports it’s a racial/hate crime,” Martin told The Advocate. “Prior to the fight, they were all up there having a nice time.”
But the family suspects otherwise.
“Down here, to me, it’s like when you’re white, you’re right,” Sam said. “I feel like if they would have done that to them, they would have been in jail the same night.”
While the family is still on the quest for legal justice, La’Quesha said they’ve received an outpouring of love from friends and family.