36. Two girls were trick‐or‐treating on Halloween night when a large group of teens attacked them, leaving both high school seniors unconscious. One needed surgery to repair her eye socket.
The victims were white, and their attackers were black. Seven attackers were girls, and one was an 18‐year‐old boy. The boy said that he did not attack the girls he tried to protect them.
"So why were you swinging a skateboard?" asked a witness. The boy said that he was swinging the skateboard at the attackers, not the victims.
The prosecution added "hate crime" to the charge of assault because racial slurs were made before the victims were attacked.
The trial in Long Beach lasted almost four weeks. All the attackers were found guilty, but not one spent even a day in jail. The judge sentenced them to "house arrest" for a month. House arrest meant that they had to sleep in their own beds at home. The boy had to do 20 hours of community service.
Law‐abiding white and black adults were outraged at the light sentences. The two girls required hospital care, yet the thugs received a mere slap on the wrist. Concerned parents immediately created a website for recalling the judge.
5.5, 76.4, 12%, 12.7, 204
Vocabulary: abide assault attack guilty Halloween jail judge prosecution protect racial senior sentence skateboard slap slur socket surgery swing thug treat trial trick unconscious victim witness wrist
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