Indiana Civil Rights Activist Nearly Lynched

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roronoa79
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08 Jul 2020, 1:40 pm

https://bloomingtonian.com/2020/07/05/b ... ke-monroe/

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A Bloomington resident said he was assaulted, injured and threatened with a noose by a group of men on public property near the shore of Lake Monroe on Saturday the 4th of July.

Saturday just before 7:52 p.m. Vauhxx Booker, a prominent voice for civil rights in Bloomington, and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, said he called 911 after being assaulted, and that the DNR came to the scene, but refused to arrest his attackers. Booker said he was pinned to a tree, and a group of men threatened to break his arms, and made the statement “get a noose,” while telling Booker’s companions to leave the area. Booker said the individuals, who had Confederate flags, and made statements about “white power” claimed he and his companions had trespassed on private property.

“I don’t want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching. I don’t want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can’t be hidden or avoided,” said Booker.

The site is the location, opposite of Cutright Recreation Area along Ind. 446 is near the site of the former Zoom Floom water slide, which was once billed as the longest concrete water slide in the entire Midwest.

In documentation posted to Facebook Booker described the ordeal, “On our way into the park we (a friend and I) encountered a large white male (seemingly drunk) wearing an oversized hat with a confederate flag print on it. We were polite and continued on even though the encounter felt awkward. We noticed he began following us in an ATV, and we stopped as he drove up behind us and then stated we were on private property. We relayed to him that we believed the organizers had received permission from the property owners to cross, but apologized and went on to our beautiful site just off the water without any further incident. When we arrived we told the event organizer of the encounter and it was relayed that the individual wasn’t the actual property owner and the organizer apologized.

Even still, we advised our folks still in route to use the public beach way to avoid any possible conflict arising. We later found out that these individuals had blocked off the public beach way with a boat and their ATVs claiming that it was also their land. When folks tried to crossed they yelled, “white power” at them. Honestly, we thought it might just be the one drunken individual with the confederate hat we had encountered earlier who might be instigating the conflict. We decided to just walk back and attempt to simply have a conversation with some of the more sober seeming group members and see if we could smooth things over a bit. We were calm and polite, but looking back now, it’s apparent that these individuals began targeting our group the moment they saw myself, a Black man and were looking to provoke a conflict.

The individuals were calm for a moment then quickly became aggressive, and we started to simply leave. Rather than go back on the public beach they angrily indicated for us to use the trail, so we complied, and (friend and I) started walking away from them back to our site. A short moment later they began following us yelling. Two of them jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground. I tussled with the two and another one joined in, then two more. The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down. They held me pinned and continued beating me for several minutes seemingly become more and more enraged as they kept trying to seriously injure me and failing. At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck. I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.

At this point the commotion and the sounds one of the men’s young teenage daughter screaming for her father and the others to let me go started attracting more people, (most whom I didn’t know) who started attempting to intervene. The attackers told the growing group, “we’re going to break his arms” (while literally attempting to bend my arms behind me) and then stated to the members of their party several times to, “get a noose”, amongst some other choice slurs. With me still pinned underneath them they kept telling onlookers to leave the, “boy” and that everyone else (all white) could go. Folks then started filming the confrontation, and shouting that they wouldn’t leave me to be killed.”

Part of the attack was also captured on video by witnesses.

A witness, who said he declined to give his name out of fear for his life, said, “All of our lives were in danger.” And that it was impossible to comprehend the amount of hatred shown by the individuals that attacked, and tried to harm his friend. He said law enforcement officers from the Indiana Department of Resources refused to arrest their attackers, and they decided later the area was unsafe for fear of their lives, packed up their campsite, and left the area. He said he would like the individuals to be held accountable for their actions.

“I was diagnosed with a minor concussion, some abrasions, bruising, and some ripped out hair patches,” said Booker, who also told the Bloomingtonian he was suffering from pain while moving his head.

The Bloomingtonian has reached out to the DNR for comment earlier Sunday via e-mail, and received the following response Monday morning:

“The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division can confirm our officers responded to this call for service. The incident is under investigation and the final report will be forwarded to the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Officer upon completion.


This happened within miles of where I live. I am furious. I pass a disgusting number of Confederate flags on my commute so this comes as little surprise. After all, Indiana had one of the biggest Klan chapters in US history until 1930 (with 30% of the white male population being members at one point!!). I bet these people think that was a proud part of their heritage.
How far would it have gone if those people hadn't been there to film it? I hope these revolting ppl get doxxed and have their lives destroyed. It's better than they deserve.


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Bravo5150
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08 Jul 2020, 3:24 pm

Sounds pretty messed up.



cyberdad
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08 Jul 2020, 10:09 pm

Any reason the cops did not arrest the men?



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09 Jul 2020, 5:11 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Any reason the cops did not arrest the men?


That's my question.


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roronoa79
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09 Jul 2020, 6:29 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Any reason the cops did not arrest the men?


The area this occurred is in the Hoosier National Forest, and is under the jurisdiction of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, not the police. Being the apt upholders of the public good that they are, they filed a report and made no arrests. Due in part to the outcry both in and out of the state, there is now an independent investigation being carried out by the FBI.

I did not look up where specifically near the lake this took place bc I don't want to know how close it was exactly. I don't want to know where exactly it is in relation to my house. Any time I see a house or a car with a confederate flag or a blue lives matter sticker, I leer intensely at whoever is there and see if I see a familiar face. I'm not walking around the trails unarmed anymore.


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cyberdad
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09 Jul 2020, 6:32 pm

So they crept in tried to lynch this dude and then ran away?



roronoa79
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09 Jul 2020, 6:39 pm

cyberdad wrote:
So they crept in tried to lynch this dude and then ran away?


Yes. After the crowd started gathering and filming them (and even some in their own group expressed their horror), they up and left.
The DNR was hesitant to investigate it rigorously over a preoccupation with whether Booker was actually trespassing. Gotta love those Indiana law enforcement priorities.

This is a more recent article that goes into a bit more detail:
https://www.npr.org/sections/live-updates-protests-for-racial-justice/2020/07/08/889171637/i-didn-t-want-to-be-a-hashtag-says-black-man-who-feared-being-lynched-in-indiana


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cyberdad
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09 Jul 2020, 6:43 pm

So Mississipi burning happening in 2020



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11 Jul 2020, 1:48 am

That’s super F’d up. The news story + the confederate flags and white supremacist crap.

I’m assuming the op is black. It’s so incredibly bizarre to me that this stuff is happening Now in the year 2020 and you have to arm yourself to take a walk around your neighbourhood - or anywhere. Wtf is wrong with white America? :( I’m sorry this is your lived experience. It’s just so.. unnecessary and flat out wrong.


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cyberdad
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11 Jul 2020, 2:01 am

When you consider that school segregation is now worse in the south compared to when back when lynchings and bussing were taking place back in the 50s/60s then that might provide one answer to your question.



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11 Jul 2020, 2:10 am

cyberdad wrote:
When you consider that school segregation is now worse in the south compared to when back when lynchings and bussing were taking place back in the 50s/60s then that might provide one answer to your question.

School segregation doesn't provoke violence.


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roronoa79
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11 Jul 2020, 2:12 am

goldfish21 wrote:
That’s super F’d up. The news story + the confederate flags and white supremacist crap.

I’m assuming the op is black. It’s so incredibly bizarre to me that this stuff is happening Now in the year 2020 and you have to arm yourself to take a walk around your neighbourhood - or anywhere. Wtf is wrong with white America? :( I’m sorry this is your lived experience. It’s just so.. unnecessary and flat out wrong.


Oh no, your concern is touching but I am quite white.

It isn't as if this is a real 'neighborhood'--I'm in the country so I'm not really in walking distance of anything. There are just dozens of trails and paths bc I live surrounded by a state park. I like to go on the trails on my own now and then. I already felt somewhat 'naked' going walking unarmed, but now there's no way I'm walking around here without at least my pocketknife.
I know I'm not exactly a high priority target to these kinds of ppl. I have a bit of jewish heritage so I don't look 100% vanilla caucasian, but given my age and the proximity to a big college town, they can correctly guess my politics. Even if I'm not targeted, I'd still like to be able to help someone in danger with more than just my phone or my fists.


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cyberdad
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11 Jul 2020, 2:21 am

starkid wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
When you consider that school segregation is now worse in the south compared to when back when lynchings and bussing were taking place back in the 50s/60s then that might provide one answer to your question.

School segregation doesn't provoke violence.


Private whites only schools in the south were able to trick and bypass the Brown vs Board of education desegregation laws because they are self-funded and expensive that prohibit black families not able to afford the fees or travel the distances to where the schools have been built in predominantly white neighborhoods. They also can develop their own history curriculum which spawns the next generation who carry tikki torches, rifles and rope in their pickup trucks.



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18 Jul 2020, 1:39 am

Charges filed against men filmed allegedly assaulting Black man at Indiana lake

Quote:
Indiana prosecutors on Friday charged two white men who were filmed allegedly assaulting a Black man on July 4.

Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox are facing battery, confinement and intimidation charges for their alleged roles in an attack on Vauhxx Rush Booker at Lake Monroe, according to the Monroe County Prosecutor's office.

Booker, 36, an activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission, and other witnesses filmed the encounter in which Purdy, Cox and other men were seen pinning Booker to a tree and pulling his arm. Booker said he heard the men say they were going to get a noose and that they shouted racial slurs.

Local police and the FBI are investigating. A representative for the Monroe County prosecutor's office said the suspects had not been arrested as of early Friday afternoon.

"This is not a happy moment. It's a necessary moment," Booker said in a Zoom news conference Friday afternoon. "We have a legal system and what I want now is our neighbors to decide the fate of these individuals."

An attorney representing Purdy couldn't immediately be reached for comment. It's unclear whether Cox has an attorney at this time.

Booker revealed on Friday that he tested positive for COVID-19 that morning and is currently under home quarantine. He said he took the test on Wednesday after his doctor advised him to do. Booker's attorney, Katherine Liell, said she reached out to Purdy's attorney to inform him of her client's positive test.

Booker said a group of white men confronted him as he was walking with a friend to a Fourth of July event at the lake, blocking his path to the beach.

Booker said in a Facebook post that he and a friend "decided to just walk back and attempt to simply have a conversation" with the group, but that group members "quickly became aggressive," and when Booker and his friend walked away "two of them jumped me from behind."

Booker has called the assault an attempted lynching and said some of his hair was pulled out.

A group of bystanders came to Booker's aid and filmed some of the incident while pleading with the group to release him. The group of white men are seen cursing at the bystanders. Booker and the bystanders called the police and showed them the videos, but no one was immediately taken into custody.

Booker posted his video and recounted the incident on Facebook. Over the last two weeks, investigators have questioned several witnesses and collected more video, according to police reports.

Purdy's attorney, David Hennessy, contended at a news conference earlier this week that Booker started the incident and threw punches at his client. Hennessy contended Booker "race baited" his client.

Liell said her client attempted to fight back after the group started the fight.

Booker told reporters he's determined to seek justice and begin the healing process.

"We've seen a lot of mudslinging and name-calling," he said, "and I would like for us to take a moment to think about our shared humanity."


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18 Jul 2020, 2:17 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
Charges filed against men filmed allegedly assaulting Black man at Indiana lake
Quote:
Indiana prosecutors on Friday charged two white men who were filmed allegedly assaulting a Black man on July 4.

Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox are facing battery, confinement and intimidation charges for their alleged roles in an attack on Vauhxx Rush Booker at Lake Monroe, according to the Monroe County Prosecutor's office.


Justice served...



roronoa79
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18 Jul 2020, 3:15 am

Good


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