Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, December 26, 2013
Texas Man Charged with Federal Hate Crime for Punching and Breaking Jaw of 79-year-old African American Man
Conrad Alvin Barrett, 27, has been charged with a federal hate crime related to a racially-motivated assault of a 79-year-old African American man, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels of the Civil Rights Division along with U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas and Special Agent in Charge Stephen L. Morris of the FBI.
“Hate crimes tear at the fabric of entire communities,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Samuels. “As always, the Civil Rights Division will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that hate crimes are identified and prosecuted, and that justice is done.” ...
The complaint charges Barrett, of Katy, Texas, with one count of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. According to the complaint, on Nov. 24, 2013, Barrett attacked the elderly man because of the man’s race and color in what Barrett called a “knockout.” ...
Barrett allegedly recorded himself on his cell phone attacking the man and showed the video to others. The complaint alleges Barrett made several videos, one in which he identifies himself and another in which he makes a racial slur. In addition, Barrett had allegedly been working up the “courage” to play the “knockout game” for approximately a week.
The “knockout game” is an assault in which an assailant aims to knock out an unsuspecting victim with one punch. According to the complaint, the conduct has been called by other names and there have been similar incidents dating as far back as 1992.
According to the complaint, Barrett comments in a video that “the plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?”
I predict the answer to that will prove to be: Yes.