BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — The person on the heart of a July 4, 2020, assault close to Lake Monroe on Monday referred to as for his criminal charges to be dropped and the particular prosecutor to step down.
Vauhxx Booker was charged Friday in Monroe Circuit Court docket 2 with battery and felony trespassing.
Booker claims to have been the sufferer of a hate crime close to Lake Monroe. Since then, the lads Booker claims to have attacked him, Sean Purdy and Jerry Edward Cox, have been charged within the assault. Every face costs together with felony confinement, battery, and intimidation. Now greater than a 12 months later, a particular prosecutor has charged Booker with battery and felony trespassing in connection to the incident.
“Now, it has taken the outrageous step of charging Booker, the sufferer, as a felon. He faces as much as 3½ years in jail and $15,000 in fines for being subjected to a racist assault,” stated Man Loftman, an lawyer with the Monroe County Branch NAACP.
The unique investigation by the Indiana Division of Pure Assets did name for costs to be filed in opposition to Booker or the 2 males he accused of attacking him.
One in every of Booker’s attorneys claimed in a information convention Monday that the narrative that one of many males pushed Booker first, then Booker punched him, is proof that Booker was performing in self-defense.
Information 8 carried the information convention live on Facebook.
When questioned concerning the punch later within the information convention, Booker backtracked and stated that the narrative was not true and that he didn’t punch the person after being pushed, however relatively he walked away solely to be attacked from behind.
“This has been humiliating and defeating. I had simply moved to a brand new metropolis. I used to be wanting ahead to beginning a brand new job, to transferring ahead with my life, and I’m dragged again to into this second. For some of us, it was a 12 months in the past. For me, it has occurred day-after-day,” Booker stated.
Booker says the particular prosecutor assigned to the case, Sonia Leerkamp, is just urgent the fees in opposition to him as a result of he wouldn’t comply with drop the case and the fees in opposition to the opposite males and do a joint information convention together with her.
“I don’t care if she desires to tug me again to the hanging tree herself, I’m not going to again down from this. I’m not going to simply let these of us go on about their lives like they didn’t victimize me, like their crime didn’t impression a complete group. I’m going to face up for myself,” Booker stated.
As for the felony trespassing costs, Booker’s attorneys declare he was solely on non-public property whereas passing via to get to the place his different buddies have been; he says the altercation occurred on public property.
Booker can be claiming that Pure Assets conservation officers didn’t observe correct protocol when responding to the scene initially, by first speaking to the group of individuals Booker accused of attacking him earlier than ever coming to speak to Booker, the one that referred to as 911.
“That is systemic racism in motion at each step. White officers and the white particular prosecutor give white of us the advantage of the doubt and the entire sympathy,” Loftman stated.
Booker and his group of attorneys say they plan to problem the fees and are asking for the particular prosecutor to step down.
A court docket listening to is scheduled for Sept. 13. Booker’s lawyer says she plans to file for pleadings that might problem the brand new costs earlier than that date.
Purdy and Cox declare Booker instigated the incident. They’re due again in Monroe Circuit Court docket 2 on Aug 20.