A young black man has been beaten mercilessly in what is believed to be a racially motivated attack in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday. He was able to identify his attackers as three white men who ranted on racial slurs during the attack.
The victim’s father and the Des Moines NAACP chapter say this attack could be classified as a hate crime and are urging investigators to probe into the matter.
According to police report, 22-year-old DaQuan Jones was on his way to visit his girlfriend when his attackers pounced on him around 3:25 am last Saturday, The Des Moines Register reports. Fortunately for Jones, there were eyewitnesses to his ordeal. Tyia Campbell said she and her friends were nearby when she found a helpless Jones on the ground.
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“He told us [the suspects] were trying to kill him,” Campbell said. “He was bloody. He said he couldn’t breathe and thought he was dying.”
The suspects were still on the scene of the assault when Campbell and her friends arrived. She told the police that the men hurled racial slurs against them as well. One of them blurted out, “Get out of our area; we’re going to get all of you out of here.”
“They broke my son’s face in five places. Five,” he said. “[The suspects] know what they did. I don’t want an uproar; I just want justice.”
The NAACP president Kameron Middlebrooks spoke at the news conference too saying, “After speaking with [Da]Quan, his family and the witnesses that have come forward, if the story is as they state it is, then what occurred yesterday should be nothing less than a hate crime.”
Middlebrooks then released a press statement that same Sunday evening urging all black residents to be each other’s keeper and asking the police not to turn a blind eye to the racist nature of the attack against Jones and many other similar attacks.
“We strongly urge the DMPD and the city’s elected officials to investigate these attacks to bring about equitable outcomes for the victims,” Middlebrooks wrote.
DaQuan Jones is expected to make a full-on recovery from the injuries incurred after the attack. It is reported that he was immediately taken to the hospital the moment the police arrived at the scene and found him on the ground.