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Victims speak out in case of downtown beating

CINCINNATI (Deb Dixon) -- For the first time, investigators said a downtown attack on white victims by a group of young black people was racially motivated.

Four adults and one teenager faced charges of assault, rioting and ethnic intimidation Tuesday.  They were accused of beating three people near the Taste of Cincinnati Memorial Day weekend.

Ethnic intimidation meant the grand jury thought the mob picked their victims because they were white.  The indictments were for the beating of Joe Deters' son and his girlfriend.  There was video from a passing Metro bus and another victim was attacked while walking to work.

Noelle Findley was a victim who filed a police report as a hate crime after a mob surrounded her car on Clay Street.  She believed the indictment addressed what no one has wanted to talk about, "I don't know why they would pick someone because of the color of skin.  Got to talk about it."

The race factor surfaced the night of the assaults.  Race became a factor that May night right away in the 911 calls that said, "Black kids hitting white kids at Ninth and Vine, it's not right."
   
Then there were the racial slurs reported by some of the 11 victims as they were being punched kicked and stomped.  Two of the police reports made it official, it was a hate crime.

Dr. John Wright of the UC School of Criminal Justice said, "I think it's racist behavior when you target a group based on their race, sexual orientation.  It's the very nature of a hate crime."
   
Dr. Wright has been tracking similar violence in other cities going back five years including Louisville in March, "Just because it's black kids offending against white doesn't change the facts."
   
Dr. Wright said people don't like to talk about the facts when it comes to the sensitive subject of race and crime.  But he said those responsible must be held accountable.
   
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