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Assault of Calabasas boy is not being investigated as a hate crime

Authorities said today that an assault on a 12-year-old Calabasas boy who was allegedly targeted by his fellow middle school students because of his red hair is not being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack on the boy occurred at A.E. Wright Middle School by as many as 14 classmates, police said. The incident may have been motivated by a Facebook message on Friday saying it was "Kick a Ginger Day."

However, the incident does not meet the criteria of a hate crime, said Lt. Scott Chew of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

"This doesn't apply," he said.

"Ginger" is a label given to people with red hair, freckles and fair skin. It gained notoriety from a 2005 episode of "South Park," an animated comedy show with adult humor, in which "gingers" were picked on.

The boy, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was kicked and hit with fists in various areas of the body, police said. His injuries were not severe. 

No arrests were made in the attack. Detectives are investigating the incident as a possible assault with a deadly weapon. 

-- Baxter Holmes
Comments () | Archives (95)

Growing up as a "Ginger" I was taunted, harassed and intimadiated due to the pigmatation of my skin, red hair and the millions of freckles. Do I think it is a hate crime;yes.

Lt. Chew, LASD, you are wrong!!!!!!!!!

California Penal Code section 422:

422.6. (a) No person, whether or not acting under color of law, shall by force or threat of force, willfully injure, intimidate,
interfere with, oppress, or threaten any other person in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him or her
by the Constitution or laws of this state or by the Constitution or laws of the United States...

We can't pick and choose which incident should be labled a hate crime. The law is clear and the intent was to harm him and violate his consitutional rights.

if this kid had been targeted because of a facebook post called "go kick a black kid day" it would have been a hate crime, wouldn't it have been?

"go kick a red head day" vs "go kick a kid with slanty eyes day" vs " go kick a kid with fuzzy hair day" vs "go kick a kid with brown skin day"

this is a slippery slope into trouble--

if this kid had been targeted because of a facebook post called "go kick a black kid day" it would have been a hate crime, wouldn't it have been?

"go kick a red head day" vs "go kick a kid with slanty eyes day" vs " go kick a kid with fuzzy hair day" vs "go kick a kid with brown skin day"

this is a slippery slope into trouble--

Of course it won't be prosecuted as a hate crime, it happened to a white person.

This story is very disturbing! This may not be identified as a "hate crime" but this is discrimination against a young person because of the color of his skin and hair. This is just unacceptable! This is an area with a highly rated school school system in an affluent community. Do you think the parents have some responsibility for teaching their kids respect toward everyone? Is the school taking responsibility for this? I thought the article said the school had heard about this, but did not think anything was going to happen.

Come on, Sammy, you really think a white person can't be a victim of hate crime--tell that to a white, gay man beat up in a gay-bashing incident. Law enforcement has to consider certain thresholds to charge for crimes. At the very least, this is a premeditated, coordinated assault. This incident raises the question, though, can a 13-year old harbor hate at such a young age as to inflict harm, or is it just an ignorant act? Well, now that I think of it, prejudice is ignorance...

I live in Calabasas. It is an upscale neighborhood. A lot of the kids that live here are mean to each other. I see it and hear it everyday. Where are the parent's of all these kids? I will tell you where they are. Shopping, playing tennis, on vacations while the housekeepers raise their children. It is horrible. So naturally with no parental guidance these kids get away with everything. Child services should be brought into the homes of these kids that attacked this child and dealt with. Many years ago my child had an unfortunate incident here in Calabasas which involved another kid. When I called the parents and told them what had happened the Mom's response to me was "That sounds like something my kid would do."

That kid should have been watching The Ultimate Fighter, then they wouldn't have done a thing...Get tough kid and take justice in to your own hands!!!

Double standard. More double standards to be revealed in the near future.

If this was "Kick a Hispanic" , "Kick an African American" or "Kick a Gay" there would be hate crime investigations, the FBI would be involved, civil rights leaders would be protesting in the streets.

But once again, the message is loud and clear that violence against whites is perfectly fine. Beat the Gingers. Who cares. Just don't hurt the minority students.

Tabitha, amen.

I am a redhead. If someone called me a ginger to my face these days, I would probably laugh, but as a child growing up in Detroit, I was the only white kid in my school as well. My daily torments were pure hell. Racism is a very ugly thing that can take shape in many ways, and to deny this is a hate crime would be the same as denying any racist act against any other race was a hate crime. In a way we are lucky because we are more aware of it as a society, and we recognize the need to take steps in preventing hate crimes. When I was young, no one wanted to even talk about, let alone do anything about it.

The solution to this is to start teaching our children to respect others, regardless. And the best way to do that is to practice it ourselves.

Why isn't Facebook monitoring this stuff better? They did a stupid "Kick A Ginger" day last year, too....but then Facebook allows Holocaust deniers to have groups, so what can one expect? Pretty pathetic either way!

Sheriff's Department is wrong on this one.

It's most certainly a hate crime.

I wish the young boy and his family all the best. I'm very sorry they have had to go through this in the first place.

I don't much care whether it's classified as a hate crime, but I care greatly that it is in fact prosecuted and that those responsible -- ALL of them, even the ones from "prominent" families -- receive the same justice that those in less wealthy parts of town would receive if they were the perpetrators.

Hate Crimes are specifically for non-White victims. This child, along with every other White child singled out for attack based on their race in the coming years, will not be afforded any protection under Hate Crime laws.

This is the work of the ADL, a part of the Israeli Lobby who appears to be waging war on all things White. They gloat about their Hate Crimes bills on their website. Note also the ADL defaming of the Minutemen Project on their website. Every other significant pro-White or pro-America organization has reported harassment and defamation from the ADL as well.

This is the same lobby that got the Immigration Act of 1964 passed. And part of the same ethnicity that frantically promotes race mixing on TV shows and movies. For everyone but their own kids, mind you, you never saw Seinfeld chasing Gentile women now did you?

White America is very much under attack yet does nothing. Largely due to religious beliefs that do not allow criticism of anything jewish. It's pretty funny, and sad at the same time, if not just downright pathetic beyond all belief. It's getting close to the time for White America to just circle the wagons.

I am a red head and went to this school 18 years ago. This story is so disheartening and appalling to me. I really feel terrrible for this kid as this could have easily been me. I totally agree that this is a hate crime. He was singled out because of his race. Its incidents like these that lead to school massacres. The kids responsible aren't properly held accountable and the victims go crazy. I hope the authorities do the right thing and send those kids responsible to juvenile hall. We can also thank Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter for emboldening these kids and giving them a forum for this kind of nonsense.

Each and every one of the kids involved in this crime should be whipped until their bodies are running with blood. Maybe then they will learn to be nice to people.

This is the kind of craziness society encounters when it starts to penalize motive instead of behavior. Reasoned, sensibly conceived laws are giving way to emotionally charged feelings-based ones.

There's a fine line to be drawn here in what's a hate crime and what's just stupid when it comes to kids. Is this prejudice, or did some idiots miss some TV irony or happen to one day just pick an another kid for some ambiguous quality? Though I'm sure there are people here who've been picked on for fitting this description, too, we have to remember that sometimes kids are just impulsive and cruel. Bullying should absolutely be stopped, but let's not make mountains from molehills, or decide based on limited details that the police must be turning a blind eye.

Actually, harassing redheads does have to do with ethnicity. In England and in the early U.S., it was connected to anti-Irish and anti-immigrant sentiment. The LAPD should research the history of this. It did NOT begin with South Park. It is historically an issue of ethnicity, so according to hate crime laws, it should be considered a hate crime. I would like to see how the LAPD's decision would hold up in court. I think the family could actually fight to have it ruled a hate crime.

I lived a few miles from the school. The kids their aren't any different from schools anywhere. My guess this is about group think. Let's pick someone a bit different and act cruely. Is it a hate crime, yes, but then again so is all violent crime. The parents of the perp kids should kick their butts and teach them that this behaviour is unacceptable and perhaps a drive to the victim's house for a face to face appology. Should it be a Federal case, NO!

If it was "beat up a kid with an afro", Jesse Jackson would be marching in Calabassas right now. If you are going to have "hate crimes".. then this fits the case.

This is a perfect example of why we should all abolish hate crimes and just prosecute the actual action of the crime (assault) and not the motivation. motivations for crimes are to much of a subject of opinion and circumstance, but the actual action of the crime itself is much more punishable and easy to prove........ makes me wonder how this would have played out if he was white but also gay or jewish. so in conclusion, according to Lt. Chew if you are a strait white guy and you are targeted for a crime because of the color of your skin it's not a hate crime? the comments left by "red head" below hits the nail on the head........ the funny thing is if a bunch of white people started a "white people against reverse racisim" activist organization to prevent these kind of things from happening, the media would most likely paint them as racist even though they would just be defending their constitutional rights just like any other group.

Don't most crimes involve some level of "hate"? Are there are "love" crimes?

Redheads aren't just "white", there are other non-white races that have redheads. The reason this isn't a hate crime in the eyes of the law, is that this attack doesn't target a specific protected class under CA law (in this case race or ethnicity).

The definitions of those classes in CA are:

"(a)"Hate crime" means a criminal act committed, in whole or in part, because of one or more of the following actual or perceived characteristics of the victim:




(4)Race or ethnicity.


(6)Sexual orientation.

(7)Association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics."

The law doesn't include "color" (i.e., skin color). If it did, this would be a hate crime. It doesn't look good to the armchair critics, but them's the facts. It's still a crime, so it's odd that no arrests have been made.

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