Thursday, December 8, 2011

"I couldn't believe that a human can lose so much blood."

Six Years For Hate Crime Beating In Buffalo
Re-printed from a story at The Examiner on July 10th 2010

The male half of an interracial couple is nearly beaten to death by three black teenagers in Buffalo.

In August of 2009, an incredibly brutal mob-beating of a Buffalo, New York teen caused a great deal of outrage within the community. While the crime was covered locally, the national press completely ignored the story, and no hate crimes charges were brought against the assailants, though the only motivation in the crime seemed to be racism.

The victim is white and the attackers were black. The victim's girlfriend was black. The beating three teens paid out included striking the victim with concrete blocks to his head causing a broken jaw and busted out teeth.

On August 18th 2009, Brian Milligan Jr., 18, was walking home when he was attacked at the corner of Genesee Street and Floss Avenue, by a group of young black men. In addition to being punched and kicked, Milligan’s attackers hit him in the back of the head with a brick.

Amazingly, despite his severe injuries, Milligan managed to stumble the remaining five blocks to his house where he collapsed.

His father, Brian Milligan Sr. told a WGRZ reporter: "I mean, I couldn't believe that a human can lose so much blood and walk home for five blocks. It didn't even look like my son.”

Milligan, who spent several days in the Erie County Medical Center, suffered bleeding in his brain and a broken jaw, which required the reinforcement of a metal plate and reconstructive surgery, the extent of lasting brain injuries is not yet fully known.

Milligan’s girlfriend Nicola Fisher, who is black, told police that the two were often threatened and taunted as they walked together through their neighborhood.

Milligan‘s father believes his son‘s relationship with Fisher was the motivation behind the attack. He said: "They're just in love. They just want to be left alone."

Milligan’s father, Brian Sr. expressed his frustration with the investigation, and said: "I don't want to sound wrong, but, what happens if this was a black boy laying up on that bed, and it was twelve white guys that did this to him.”

Shortly after the attack, Rod Watson, a columnist with the Buffalo News addressed the issue. Watson, who is black, pointed out that according to Census data, interracial marriages are 10 times higher than they were in 1960, but those couples still have a tough time being accepted by their communities.

Watson wrote: “If blacks in Buffalo in 2009 are acting like whites in Selma in 1959, this society has big problems, despite electing a president who is himself the product of an interracial union.”

Police eventually arrested Donte Lee, 18, and Antoine Blackmon, 16, for the attack but never brought hate crimes charges against them. In May, they were both sentenced to six years in prison for the assault.

The Milligan family believes the attack that nearly ended their son’s life was racially motivated. Leslie Milligan, Brian’s mother told reporters after the sentencing: "It was more than what we thought, but to me I really still believe the hate crime part is in there but there isn't much we can do about that.”

One of the functions of the Justice Department is to protect the civil rights of all Americans. When an egregious crime is committed against someone because of their race, and local law enforcement fails to deal with it, the federal government traditionally steps in and brings federal charges against the assailants. But not in this case or hundreds more just like it.

The operational logic seems to be that there are too many racially motivated attack by black Americans on white Americans to realistically prosecute federally.

References:
The Examiner, A hate crime you have never heard of
Buffalo News, Victim of beating sees justice in prison terms for teens
WIVB, More Outrage Over Hate Crime