A Barstow police officer that allegedly assaulted a 32-year-old man and 31-year-old woman in Hesperia last August has been charged with one misdemeanor count of violating the man's civil rights, two counts of battery and one count of disturbing the peace. KTLA News reports that the suspect, Jimmy Alfred Walker, is scheduled to appear in a Victorville court on December 13 to respond to the criminal charges.
Jimmy Alfred Walker's charges fall under a hate crime statute. The Victorville man has been accused of using a racial slur at the time of assaulting the two victims. KTLA News did not say what the race of the victims was, but Jimmy Alfred Walker was arrested after the incident by San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies. The suspect was also placed on "off-duty" status by the Barstow Police Department and ordered to stay at home during the hate crime investigation.
According to FindLaw, 61 percent of hate crime incidents in the U.S. are motivated by race and another 11 percent of hate crimes are motivated by a victim's ethnicity. Other types of hate crimes are violent acts intended to hurt or intimidate somebody because of their national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
While the now off-duty Barstow cop only faces misdemeanor charges over the incident, the man could face serious consequences because of the hate crime status of the charge. A California judge will often mandate sentencing enhancements if the defendant is found guilty of a hate crime.
Hate Crimes (FindLaw's LawBrain)