An alleged racial incident that took place at Santa Monica High School is being investigated by Santa Monica police. An African American student claims that some of his fellow wrestling team members chained him to a locker and hung a noose around a brown wrestling dummy. He also informed police that those teammates made racially charged comments to him.
The alleged incident was recently reported to the Santa Monica Police Department on June 21, but the actual incident allegedly happened over a month ago. The student's mother, Victoria Gray, reported it to police. She was upset because she was never made aware of the situation by the school and didn't find out about it until May 31, when she heard it from another parent. Sgt. Richard Lewis said that the students could face charges of assault and battery, and that the racial nature of the incident could be considered a hate crime.
According to police reports, the student walked into the school's wrestling room on May 4 and found a brown practice mannequin with a noose tied around its neck. When he went to the locker room to change, two students restrained him in a bear hug and used a cable and lock to chain his pants to a locker. The students allegedly made racial remarks.
Principle Hugo A. Pedroza sent an email to parents on June 16 stating that it was a "serious matter that warranted a swift and appropriate response." He also said that the students accused "were given appropriate disciplinary consequences, including suspension." The entire wrestling team received sensitivity training and a workshop will be given at freshman orientation on racial sensitivity, bullying and hazing.
If you or a loved one is being accused of assault and battery, it is important to know the possible penalties those charges carry. These penalties depend on whether the charge is considered a misdemeanor or felony. It is also very important to have appropriate legal representation that can guide you through the process and help you get the best possible outcome for your criminal case. Call the Hedding Law Firm for a free case evaluation.