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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Teen Hate Crimes Victim Commits Suicide

Racial Bias Hate Crime Labeled "sexual assault"

Granny has posted about proposed Hate Crime legislation several times.
Many people seem to think the proposed legislation is to protect gays; it is not limited to gays but offers legal protection to citizens of all kinds exposed to hate crimes.

The teen aged victim in the following story was not gay, he was a Hispanic-American, and his "friends" committed unspeakable crimes against him while shouting "white power" and uttering racial slurs. He testified in Washington urging passage of the hate crime bill. At the end of this post, note the response of one of our fearless leaders to the pleas of this courageous teen aged boy who ultimately could no longer live with his sufferings.

photos
David Ritcheson, the 18-year-old victim of the Spring pipe beating attack last year, allegedly jumped to his death from a Cozumel-bound cruise ship Sunday. Ritcheson recently testified to Congress about his experience, calling for an expansion of hate crime laws.
KAREN WARREN: Chronicle

>>>>>>>>>
Recap of the sadistic, unspeakable hate crime David suffered:

[WA: Rape victims, especially juveniles, usually are not identified nor the specifics of their ordeal made public. Although David's vicious attack was called "sexual assault", the horrific details of the sadistic actions of his attackers was made public throughout the media.

"Tuck and Turner dragged Ritcheson, who was Hispanic, into the backyard, where they taunted him with racial slurs, punched and kicked him in the head and burned him 17 times with cigarettes. They tried to carve a swastika into his chest."

They beat him with the patio umbrella stand then forced it into his rectum and repeatedly kicked the end of it to drive it further into his body, tearing his intestines and internal organs. He required 30 surgeries trying to repair the damage and still had to wear a colostomy bag (where the intestine is brought to the outside of the abdomen and feces are discharged into a plastic bag.) He not only suffered the horrific physical injuries but the humiliation of everyone knowing the details of his assault, the stares, whispers, outright questions, public scrutiny, media spotlights, 2 public trials of his attackers, an appearance in Washington and terrible psychological trauma. In spite of the fact that his attackers admitted shouting "white power" and using racial slurs during the attack, the crime was not prosecuted as a hate crime. ]

His attackers poured bleach on his face and body and left him for dead.

"I shouldn't care what people think," David Ritcheson said earlier this year. "But it's like everyone knows I'm 'the kid.' I don't want to be a standout because of what happened."


>>>>>>>

Teen victim of Spring pipe attack dies after apparent jump from ship
LULAC official says family told the 18-year-old went overboard on Carnival cruise

By BILL MURPHY, PAIGE HEWITT and JENNIFER LEAHY
Excerpts:
A Spring teen who survived a brutal beating with a pipe ( and other sadistic tortures) last year apparently jumped to his death from a Cozumel-bound cruise ship on Sunday.An 18-year-old was observed by "a bunch of people" jumping over the railing of the upper deck of Carnival Cruise Lines' Ecstasy around 7:35 a.m. Sunday, said Coast Guard spokesman Adam Eggers.
A written statement from the cruise line also said an 18-year-old appeared to jump from the ship.
Carnival Cruise Lines officials would not confirm his identity, but Rick Dovalina, head of LULAC in Houston, said Sunday night that he learned through the family's attorney, Carlos Leon, that 18-year-old David Ritcheson has died.
"Carlos said that the family confirmed it, that it was true," Dovalina said. "The family heard from the captain of the ship. He went overboard."
The ship's crew pulled the body from the water and he was pronounced dead at 9:10 a.m. The ship had departed Galveston on Saturday and was a "couple of hundred" miles out, Eggers said.

Ritcheson's death comes less than three months after he testified before Congress about how two teens nearly killed him on April 23, 2006 by repeatedly kicking a patio umbrella stand into his rectum while shouting "white power!".
.............( paragraphs edited: WA)............

Ritcheson's relatives will fly to the Mexican resort town of Cozumel today to identify the body, Dovalina said. Ritcheson went on the cruise with a friend's family and several other friends, Dovalina said.
Dovalina said he thought Ritcheson was holding up fairly well.
"He just got back from Washington not that long ago. He went through a lot. He endured two trials," Dovalina said.

In an April interview, Ritcheson said he was still struggling with being identified as the victim of the pipe attack. A skinhead named David Tuck, 19, was sentenced to life in prison for his part in the attack. Keith Turner, 18, received a 90-year sentence.

Trial testimony revealed Ritcheson and Gus Sons, whom he'd befriended at an alternative school for students with disciplinary problems, met up with Tuck and Turner at a crawfish festival in Spring the night of the attack. From there, they went to Sons' house, where they drank vodka, smoked marijuana and used cocaine and Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug.

Sons testified that Tuck and Turner attacked Ritcheson because they
(allegedly) believed he stole some drugs and tried to kiss Sons' 12-year-old sister. [ WA: And WHY was a 12 year old child allowed to participate or be present at such a "party"? And if the stated "reasons" were true, why shout "white power" and taunt him with racial slurs?]

Tuck and Turner dragged Ritcheson, who was Hispanic, into the backyard, where they taunted him with racial slurs, punched and kicked him in the head and burned him 17 times with cigarettes. They tried to carve a swastika into his chest. [Beat him with the pvc pipe patio umbrella stand then repeatedly kicked it into his rectum and intestines]
His attackers poured bleach on his face and body and left him for dead. No one called for an ambulance until well after daybreak. [WA: Until Sons' mother arose the next morning and saw David's body in the back yard. And where were the other partyers? Why did no one intervene? Why did no one call 911?]

The former Klein Collins High School running back and freshman homecoming prince spent three months and eight days in the hospital and endured more than 30 surgeries.

He was coping with the past, he said last spring, "by not thinking about it." He declined psychiatric help.Ritcheson called on Congress to strengthen U.S. hate crime laws."I appear before you as a survivor," Ritcheson told members of a House Judiciary subcommittee April 17. "I am here before you today asking that our government take the lead in deterring individuals like those who attacked me from committing unthinkable and violent crimes against others because of where they are from, the color of their skin, the God they worship, the person they love, or the way they look, talk or act."
[WA: see links below for response to his plea]
Chronicle reporter Cynthia Leonor Garza contributed to this story.bill.murphy@chron.com

paige.hewitt@chron.com

jennifer.leahy@chron.com

>>>>>>>>

Victim describes attack, impact on his life (April 17)

Hate crimes bill advances on Spring teen's testimony

Associated Press
But he said other hate crime victims are not as fortunate and need the federal hate crimes law. Hate crimes are a stain on our national heritage.
04/27/2007

House OKs hate-crimes expansion; faces veto

By JIM ABRAMS : Associated Press

It would approve $10 million over the next two years to help local law enforcement officials cover the cost of hate crime prosecutions.
05/04/2007

Spring teen's death spurs fight for hate-crimes bill

By PATTY REINERT : Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Washington Bureau

She said she intends to amend her legislation, nicknamed "David's Bill," to include funding and counseling support for the victims of hate crimes.
07/02/2007

Excerpt: [WA: Check out this load of b.s.]
"Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Tyler, who led the opposition to the hate crimes bill in the House, told Ritcheson this spring that he sympathized with him but opposed giving what he considered special protection under the law for victims who are gay or transgendered. He said he fears that religious leaders could be targeted under such a law for preaching against homosexuality.On Monday, Gohmert issued a statement saying: "It is heartbreaking that such a gifted young man would bring an early end to such talent. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of David's loved ones. Though two of his original attackers received 90 years and life, clearly they did devastating long term damage to him mentally and emotionally."
[ WA: You hypocrite! And cost him his life! Many people, especially the young, do commit suicide after suffering horrific trauma.]

[WA: Yet he would refuse the vote for the hate crimes bill that would cover such crimes as those committed against David by White Power racists because it would give special protection for gays and transgenders, citizens who are special targets for haters? (As are minority citizens) And to "protect" the fundies and other gay haters? Preaching against a disapproved action, behavior or life styles is a far cry from physical assault. His objection is specious, clearly catering to the fundie crowd. See following previous posts re: the Fundie LIES]

[WA: Some people object to an additional federal law because a federal law already exists. See the excerpt below for the proposed bill vs. the current law.]

"The bill defines such crimes as those motivated by prejudice based on the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of the victim or is a violation of the state, local, or tribal hate crime laws.
Under current law, hate crimes can only be prosecuted at the federal level if the crime is committed while the victim is carrying out a federally protected act, such as voting, Conyers said."

Pipe victim struggled
[Last related story is slide show of David and story. WA ]
>>>>>>>

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Our 7 year old "Picklebee" and sister, "Drama Queen"

These two children are half Hispanic- American. Their mother is Hispanic-American and their father is my grandson. Would I or any decent person want our Picklebee or Drama Queen to suffer David's fate from "White Power" scumbags just because of their racial makeup?

Please contact your reps and demand the Hate Crimes Bill be passed.

COMMENTS:


Nvisiblewmn said...

This attack is disgusting. Anyone who isn't outraged by it also disgusts me.

Poor kid.

Picklebee and DQ are adorable.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:27:00 AM

Granny said...

The Matthew Shepard bill went down in flames in the Senate. It was attached to one of the "get out of Iraq" bills.

A similar "stand alone" Bill in the House had passed earlier.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:36:00 AM

Worried said...

Invisiblewmn: I agree wholeheartedly. When the news first broke about David's assault with all the unspeakable details, I threw a bawling, raging hissy fit. Since the city of Spring is a part of the Greater Houston Metropolitan area, naturally it got a lot of media coverage (media frenzy)assuring that the boy hadn't a shred of privacy left. Since it was labeled a "sexual assault" instead of a hate crime, the then- 17 yr old should have been protected like other rape victims are. But he received no protection at all. No human being at all should be treated like that.

I suppose if David had been gay instead of Hispanic, those scumbags would have whined in defense, "he made a pass at us" the usual response to gay bashing or murder.
(Ye gods, if women tortured and killed every man that made a pass at them, there would be few men left on the planet! That is NO excuse for gay hate crimes, and probably lies most of the time. Most of the gay men I know or knew would never make a pass at a straight man, knowing full well they would either be rejcted or beaten up).

Granny, that's a shame about the Matthew Shepard Bill. But- see my post of the fundie influence.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:40:00 AM

Granny said...

I did see your post as well as the information I receive from various sources.

I still think the Act would probably have passed the Senate if it had stood on its own or come in as a joint bill with the House (which had passed it). Bush wouldn't have dared veto - too many Republicans supported it. Instead it was buried in a Bill which had nothing to do with hate crimes and doomed from the beginning.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:50:00 A





Labels:

4 Comments:

  • At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:27:00 AM , Blogger Nvisiblewmn said...

    This attack is disgusting. Anyone who isn't outraged by it also disgusts me.

    Poor kid.

    Picklebee and DQ are adorable.

     
  • At Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:36:00 AM , Blogger Granny said...

    The Matthew Shepard bill went down in flames in the Senate. It was attached to one of the "get out of Iraq" bills.

    A similar "stand alone" Bill in the House had passed earlier.

     
  • At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:40:00 AM , Blogger Worried said...

    Invisiblewmn: I agree wholeheartedly. When the news first broke about David's assault with all the unspeakable details, I threw a bawling, raging hissy fit. Since the city of Spring is a part of the Greater Houston Metropolitan area, naturally it got a lot of media coverage (media frenzy)assuring that the boy hadn't a shred of privacy left. Since it was labeled a "sexual assault" instead of a hate crime, the then- 17 yr old should have been protected like other rape victims are. But he received no protection at all. No human being at all should be treated like that.

    I suppose if David had been gay instead of Hispanic, those scumbags would have whined in defense, "he made a pass at us" the usual response to gay bashing or murder.
    (Ye gods, if women tortured and killed every man that made a pass at them, there would be few men left on the planet! That is NO excuse for gay hate crimes, and probably lies most of the time. Most of the gay men I know or knew would never make a pass at a straight man, knowing full well they would either be rejcted or beaten up).

    Granny, that's a shame about the Matthew Shepard Bill. But- see my post of the fundie influence.

     
  • At Wednesday, July 25, 2007 4:50:00 AM , Blogger Granny said...

    I did see your post as well as the information I receive from various sources.

    I still think the Act would probably have passed the Senate if it had stood on its own or come in as a joint bill with the House (which had passed it). Bush wouldn't have dared veto - too many Republicans supported it. Instead it was buried in a Bill which had nothing to do with hate crimes and doomed from the beginning.

     

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