State Watch

Two men charged with battery after alleged attempted lynching caught on video

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Two men were charged with battery on Friday after an alleged attempted lynching that was caught on video at a southern Indiana lake over Independence Day weekend, according to The Associated Press.

Video posted to social media by Vauhxx Rush Booker shows white men holding Booker on the ground against a tree, with one man heard using racial slurs. Booker, who called 911 after the incident, has said the order “get a noose” was uttered but not captured on video.

Monroe County prosecutors charged Sean Purdy with felony criminal confinement and battery producing moderate bodily harm and intimidation, while Jerry Cox II was charged with felony criminal confinement and battery resulting in moderate bodily injury, as well as two misdemeanors.

Monroe County Prosecuting Attorney Erika Oliphant said warrants have been issued for their arrest.

Local protests have for weeks demanded arrests for those involved in the assault on Booker, who is a civil rights activist and a member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission.

Purdy’s defense attorney, David Hennessy, gave no immediate comment on the charges. Previously, Hennessy said Booker presented “a false narrative” about the attack, alleging Booker was an “instigator and the agitator.”

Booker and his attorney Katherine Liell said they were “relieved” by the charges, which they called the first step “towards justice and change.”

“We will watch closely to ensure that the individuals arrested for perpetrating this disgusting and sickening attack against Mr. Booker are duly punished,” they said in an emailed statement to the AP. 

The FBI had said it would investigate the incident as a possible hate crime, though no updates have come out on its probe’s status.

Tags Independence Day Indiana Lynching United States

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