November 9, 2015
Is It A Hate Crime? White Men Allegedly Beaten Over Confederate Flag Decal

Has a hate crime been committed over the display of a Confederate flag decal? The Huffington Post reports that two men were allegedly beaten by an angry mob of blacks, who were reportedly offended by their display of the decal. In fact, video footage of the altercation has been circulating on social media and new reports, which indicate that the claims by the alleged victims may be true.

The footage of the alleged assault has gone viral with nearly 370,000 views on Youtube. Meanwhile, authorities are still searching for the group of six or seven black men, which can be seen in the video engaging in the altercation. This incident all reportedly took place because the two white men in the video had displayed a Confederate flag on their vehicle.

Kelly Leeper is one of the victims of the alleged assault, and he wants authorities in Salt Lake City, Utah, to charge the men with a hate crime. However, authorities have not found the men shown in the video yet. Furthermore, they have not made a decision regarding whether or not an actual hate crime took place. Fox News 13 reports that Leeper and his friend were in town for a Garth Brooks concert when the incident took place. He noticed the group of African-Americans surrounding the truck, which he had borrowed from a friend to go see the show. When he and his friend confronted the group of blacks, all hell broke loose.
"The point is it's my right to drive what any kind of vehicle I want. If I want to fly the Confederate flag, it's my right."
Apparently, the men who allegedly assaulted him and his friend do not share the same sentiment. With one punch, Leeper's companion was knocked out cold by one of the men. When he jumped to his friend's defense, the group of at least six individuals took him down with physical force. The incident has left Leeper feeling shaken, and in fear of ever returning to Salt Lake City unarmed.
"I'll be damned if I ever come to Salt Lake again without b ringing my gun."
Even though neither Leeper or his friend suffered any serious injuries, it's been reported that racial slurs were hurled during the fight from both sides -- his, and the side of the six or so black men who allegedly assaulted him and his friend. It's because of this that the case may be prosecuted as a hate crime, but that's only if authorities in SLC can even track down the men responsible for this crime. The only information authorities have -- other than the viral video footage showing the scuffle -- is a partial license plate, which is registered as a temporary Utah license tag. It should be noted that it has been several days since this incident, and no arrests have been reported. This incident has only added to the ongoing controversy surrounding the existence and display of the Confederate flag (or any similar flag). On social media people are debating on whether or not these alleged victims were simply taught a lesson in displaying intolerance, or if they are actually victims while they're alleged attackers are the racist ones. Reactions to the situation is certainly mixed, and authorities still haven't decided on whether or not to pursue this case as a hate crime. Of course, that could be because they still haven't located the men who were seen on video throwing punches over the display of the offensive decal. Do you think this should be a hate crime, or were the six black men simply fighting against what they perceived as racism?

[Photo: via Twitter]