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The FBI is investigating an incident over the Fourth of July weekend in which an Indiana man says he was the victim of a racist attack involving threats of a noose.
His lawyer, Katharine Liell said it’s a hate crime investigation. When CNN reached out to the FBI to confirm that a hate crime investigation has been opened, FBI public affairs officer, Chris Bavender told CNN, “the FBI is investigating, we have no further comment.”
The alleged victim, Vauhxx Booker, spoke along with two witnesses and elected officials Tuesday, and publicly demanded justice.
“Without these folks, I would be a hashtag,” said Booker, who is a member of both the affordable housing and human rights commissions in Monroe County, Indiana.
“Believe it or not, things are moving, and moving rather rapidly considering it’s the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, they did not move rapid enough on Saturday night,” said Liell.
What began as a lunar eclipse viewing party
In a detailed Facebook post Sunday, Booker, a Black man, recounted being harassed and attacked by five White men Saturday evening in an incident he said left him with a minor concussion, bruises, and patches of hair ripped out.
Booker said he and a friend entered what they said is a public park to attend a lunar eclipse viewing party at Lake Monroe, south of Bloomington, when one of the five men, who they say appeared drunk and wearing a hat with a Confederate flag on it, began following them and telling them they were on private property.“We later found out that these individuals had blocked off the public beach way with a boat and their ATVs claiming that it was also their land. When folks tried to cross, they yelled, ‘white power’ at them. Honestly, we thought it might just be the one drunken individual with the Confederate hat we had encountered earlier who might be instigating the conflict. We decided to just walk back and attempt to simply have a conversation with some of the more sober seeming group members and see if we could smooth things over a bit,” Booker posted.