Attempted Lynching Victim Charged In Attack Against Himself

The man pinned to the tree, a community activist named Vauhxx Booker, said that he had heard the men use racial slurs and threat
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Photo: YouTube

Last summer, a video of a white man pinning a Black man to a tree near a lake in Indiana on July 4 — as bystanders urge the white man and his friends to let the man go — generated national outrage. The man pinned to the tree, a community activist named Vauhxx Booker, said that he had heard the men use racial slurs and threaten to “get a noose.”

Later that month, after an extensive investigation of the confrontation by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, a prosecutor charged two of the white men with felony battery, criminal confinement and intimidation. Their cases have yet to go to trial.

Now, a special prosecutor has charged Mr. Booker with felony assault and misdemeanor trespassing for his role in the confrontation.

At a news conference on Monday, Mr. Booker and several representatives from the Monroe County chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. said that the prosecutor was retaliating against him for refusing to agree to mediation with Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox II, the two men arrested in the attack.

“There’s nothing more American than charging a Black man in his own attempted lynching,” Mr. Booker said on Monday. He added that the land he was supposedly “trespassing” on was public property.

Mr. Booker and representatives from the local N.A.A.C.P. chapter are calling for the special prosecutor, Sonia Leerkamp, to resign.

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