Cincinnati Police to Seek ‘Hate Crime’ Charges for Attackers of White Man

AP Photo/Al Behrman
AP Photo/Al Behrman

Immediately after a mob of African-Americans were caught on video beating a white man unconscious on July fourth, Cincinnati police said that they did not think the attack was a “hate crime.” But, four days later, Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell has reversed that determination and is asking Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to pursue hate crime charges in the attack.

Even in her incident report, Officer Alicia Essert called the attack “anti-white.” But the day after the attack, officials backed off that claim, saying that Essert made a “mistake” with her assessment.

The victim, 27-year-old Christopher McKnight of Albany, Indiana, suffered a broken nose and multiple contusions and bruises from the beating but was released from the hospital the day after the attack.

The vicious attack occurred at 11PM after a hip-hop concert held in downtown Cincinnati on the evening of the fourth. McKnight was near Government Square when at least six black males attacked him. The attack was recorded by several bystanders with cellphones, and the video went viral.

Up to 30 Cincinnati Police officers waded into the crowd, arresting six and citing a seventh.

Further charges have not yet been filed against any of those arrested.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at


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