"A Michigan man was sentenced for willfully causing bodily injury to a Black teenager because of the teenager's race."
According to the press release from The United States of America Justice Department Office of Public Affairs News on July 8, 2021, the man, Lee J Mouat, 43, pleaded guilty on March 4.
As well as the 5 years, he was sentenced to 3 years of supervised release. The court wants to ensure the attacker learns his lesson.
Imagine a David and Goliath situation, only, in this case, David doesn't have a slingshot and stones. He is a teenager strolling through a parking lot with two friends to fetch a portable speaker.
Goliath, also in the parking lot and with his family, had been drinking on the beach and was looking for a fight. He actually announced to the boys that he would smash a cooler over their heads if they said anything to him, and also that he wanted to get into a fight.
Mouat also used racist language, a particular word now considered a racial slur by many and symbolically banned in New York City since 2007, the n-word should not be used by White folks when in Black folks' company.
The Mouat Sentencing Memo states the words he yelled at the boys as:
“N***ers don’t belong at this beach,” and “This is my beach, n***er.”
After D.F.'s cousin told Mouat to stop using that word and cursing, the 42-year-old (on June 6, 2020), 6'6", weighing around 240 pounds apologized. As he went to his car he said "I got something for you."
Meanwhile, D.F. rejoined his friends in the parking lot after leaving his cousin in his car.
The horrific injuries Mouat inflicted on D.F., (Devin Freelon Jr) with a heavy motorbike chain and lock knocked three teeth out and broke the boy's jaw.
The Michigan man also tried to hit T.G., one of the other boys. Mouat's own daughter tried to stop him. She and a bystander called 911.
The police that arrived on the scene witnessed D.F. falling in and out of consciousness several times. A taser pointed at him, and a third request from the officers for him to lie on the ground finally succeeded in stopping Mouat.
Mouat was convicted in 2011 of carrying a concealed weapon and aggravated menacing. An altercation with a neighbor caused him to go home, collect his gun, return to confront his neighbor, and fire two shots in the air.
Then in 2017, he broke the terms of his probation when he attacked his girlfriend. He was convicted of domestic violence after punching her in the head.
His daughter told investigators about her relationship with a Black man and her father's racial bias towards him, this information sealed his fate.
“The defendant brutally attacked teenagers at a public beach because these young people are Black,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
The best news for Devin Freelon in 2020 and in time for his graduation was to hear from a local dentist, Dr. Nawras Najor of Amazing Dental in Wyandotte.
On Thursday, July 8, 2021, Mouat pled guilty to willfully causing bodily harm to 18-year-old Devin Freelon Jr because of his racial bias towards the teenager.
“Our office is committed to protecting the rights of all citizens, and prosecuting hate crimes is a top priority,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Justice was served.
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