A Black man who alleged that a group of white men assaulted him and threatened to "get a noose" at an Indiana lake is facing misdemeanor trespass and felony battery charges more than a year after the incident, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
Vauhxx Booker, a local civil rights activist, was charged over his involvement in the July 2020 assault at Lake Monroe, which was the subject of an FBI investigation. Booker slammed the charges, describing them as an "outrageous act of punitive retaliation and prosecutorial vindictiveness."
"This incident has been a continual case of a victim being re-victimized by the system," his legal team said in a statement Monday. "It is the victim in this assault — Vauhxx Booker — who is being made to pay for having stood his ground against malicious racist name-calling, physical assault, and threats against his life.”
Video posted to social media by Booker showed a group of white men holding Booker against a tree, with one man heard using racial slurs. Booker said an order to "get a noose" was uttered but not captured on video. He said in a Facebook post after the incident that he had a minor concussion, abrasions and "some ripped out hair patches" from the attack.
Two of the men who were involved in assaulting Booker were charged with battery last July.
The AP reports that the Monroe County Branch of the NAACP is demanding that the charges against Booker be dropped and that the special prosecutor who filed them, Sonia Leerkamp, resign.
An initial hearing on the charges is reportedly set for Sept. 14.