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Posts tagged: hate crime

Court Upholds Hate Crime Conviction

A unanimous Idaho Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Frank Tankovich for malicious harassment and conspiracy after a 2009 incident in which he and his two brothers, in a truck festooned with a swastika, harassed a man of Puerto Rican descent outside his Coeur d’Alene home. “We find ample evidence to support the jury’s finding that Tankovich was motivated by racial animus,” Appeals Court Judge Karen Lansing wrote in the decision, issued today. Frank Tankovich and his brother William were sentenced to probation and community service for the incident, while his brother Ira was convicted of conspiracy to disturb the peace and possession of a gun by a felon, and was sentenced to up to nine years in prison/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here. (Photo, from left: Ira Tankovich, William Tankovich and Frank Tankovich)

Thoughts?

Hate Crimes? Or Something Else?

Gay men in Spokane are either being targeted for beatings due to their sexual orientation, or they’re getting into trouble just like anyone else. Representatives from the gay community and four recent assault victims say it’s the former. Police says it’s the latter. “They’re saying that there’s these four vicious assaults on members of their community. And now I can say that four members of the community have been involved in incidences,” says Jennifer DeRuwe, a spokeswoman for the Spokane Police Department. “I cannot say that there is a campaign of violence against gays.” Matthew Cannon, a director of the Inland Northwest LGBT Center, a Spokane-based gay advocacy group, says the assaults represent a trend/Chris Stein, Pacific Northwest Inlander. More here. (Young Kwak's Inlander photo shows victim Danny Hawkins, who sez he was assaulted because he's gay.)

Question: We've been discussing this one for awhile, w/our own GWM Digger commenting that he opposes hate-crime designation because assault should simply be considered assault regardless of motivation. Do you have any further thoughts?

Hate Crime Suspect Faces Up To Life

Item: Incident could lead to life sentence: Man issued $50K bond, no contact order for alleged hate crime/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press

More Info: A Coeur d'Alene man faces up to life in prison stemming from an alleged hate crime incident on Saturday. Joel T. Diekhoff, 29, faces five years in jail and up to $5,000 on one count of felony malicious harassment - or hate crime. With two convicted felonies on his record, Diekhoff qualifies as a persistent offender, upping the possible incarceration term to life.

Question: Do you agree that hate crimes should carry a stiffer penalty?

Update: Hate Crime Victim KOs Skinhead

A self-proclaimed skinhead was knocked unconscious by a black man after threatening to stab him last weekend in Bayview, Idaho, officials said Friday. Daren Christopher Abbey, 28, was booked into jail on a malicious harassment charge after being treated at a hospital for facial fractures, according to the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department. Abbey is accused of threatening to stab Marlon L. Baker, 46, inside J.D.’s Resort on July 3 in Bayview after telling Baker he didn’t belong in the bar because he was black, said Lt. Stu Miller. Baker left the bar to avoid a fight, but police say Abbey followed him to a marina about 300 yards away, called him racial slurs and again threatened to stab him/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here. And: Southern Poverty Law Center Hate Watch story here.

Question: Do you think Abbey learned a lesson?

Vestal: Hate Depends On Outlook

Then, this week, Michael Hop came rushing to his brother’s defense. He claimed – in a long story the S-R published on its website, and a shorter version that appeared in the paper – that his brother is merely proud of his white heritage, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The reason he picketed taco trucks in Coeur d’Alene – an activity that is deeply offensive to both heart and stomach – is because the Hop brothers, being from California and all, truly understand what will happen if we let tacos and the people who make them proliferate. In his interview with the S-R, Michael Hop tried to whitewash these things the way bigots always do – it’s not that they hate anybody; it’s just that they’re proud of their race, see? Nothing wrong with that/Shawn Vestal, SR. More here.

Question: Are people who picket Mexican food stands in Coeur d'Alene misguided? Hateful? Or merely individuals with a pride in the white culture?

Cops: Girls’ Spat Triggered Vandalism

Vandalism investigated as a possible religious hate crime was the result of a dispute between two teenage girls, Spokane police say. Detectives have identified a “potential suspect” and are continuing the investigation, said Officer Jennifer DeRuwe. Police were called to the home in the 7000 block of North Cochran about 2 a.m. today, where they found swastikas and foul language had been written on the house, two cars, two trucks and two boats. There were disparaging remarks about Jesus and references to God hating the occupants. A Bible had been set on fire on the porch, according to police/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Reaction?

INW: Teen Dispute Incites Vandalism

Police are investigating a hate crime against a family living on North Cochran in Spokane. Early this morning, their house was vandalized with foul-laced language, including disparaging remarks about Jesus and references to God hating them. A Bible had been set on fire on the porch, according to police. Story here. (SR photo: Colin Mulvany)

Update (from Meghann Cuniff's Twitter): Just in from Spokane police: vandalism investigated as hate crime resulted from dispute between teenage girls.

Kellogg Reports Cross Burning

The Police Chief in Kellogg, Idaho tells KHQ that on MLK day fire crews responded to cross burning on Elder Ave. which is in the northeast part of Kellogg. The cross was wrapped in burlap and was about three and a half feet tall. The cross was placed on city property and police do not believe it was targeted at any one person/KHQ. More here.

Question: Why are local supremacists becoming more active in last week to 10 days? Martin Luther King Day observance have them fired up?

Hate Crime Sticks To Tankovich Trio

Following the third trial in eight months, two Coeur d’Alene brothers were found guilty Thursday of racially harassing and threatening a Hispanic man in August 2009. Sentencing was set for Jan. 13 for Frank James Tankovich, 47, and William Michael Tankovich Jr., 50, who were found guilty of malicious harassment and conspiracy to commit malicious harassment against Kenneth Requena, a Puerto Rican man. “For a while there, I felt like I was on trial,” said Requena, who felt so threatened when the Tankovich brothers drove by his home on Aug. 16, 2009, that he pulled a gun and had his wife call 911. Defense attorneys said it was Requena’s actions that escalated the incident/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

  • Cutline: SR File Photo by Jesse Tinsley: William, Ira and Frank Tankovich await their verdicts in an earlier trial in a Kootenai County courtroom April 19. At far right, is defense attorney Dan Cooper.

Question: Do you support the decision by the Kootenai County prosecutor to try the Tankoviches three times on the hate crime?

McHugh Wants 3rd Hate Crime Trial

Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh said today that he will re-try two Coeur d’Alene brothers on malicious harassment charges. Frank J. Tankovich, 46, and William M. Tankovich, 49, will be tried on charges of conspiracy to commit malicious harassment and malicious harassment related to an incident that occurred last August. The brothers were accused of making racially motivated threats toward Kenneth Requena, who is Puerto Rican. The brothers were tried earlier this month in Coeur d’Alene, along with a third brother, Ira G. Tankovich, 48, in the first hate-crime case to go to trial in North Idaho in recent years. A Coeur d’Alene jury deadlocked on the counts of malicious harassment and conspiracy to commit malicious harassment against Frank and William Tankovich, while convicting Ira Tankovich of the lesser charge of conpiracy to disturb the peace/Spokesman-Review. More here.

Question: Why do you think Kootenai County Prosecutor Barry McHugh is pursuing this case?

P.S. Tankovich Verdict

Brothers (from left) William, Ira and Frank Tankovich await their verdicts in a Kootenai County courtroom Monday. The jury hung on all counts except for one count of conspiracy to disturb the peace against Ira. At far right, is defense attorney Dan Cooper. Alison Boggs’ SR story here. (SR Photo: Jesse Tinsley)

Question: Given the verdict in this trial and the previous mistrial, was this case an example of the prosecutor using limited manpower resources to pursue a long-shot case?

1 Tankovich Guilty Of Misdemeanor

Update (via Twitter): Update: Jury finds Ira G. Tankovich guilty of misdemeanor in hate-crime trial. Jurors hung on both counts against his two brothers/SR.

Jurors have reached a partial verdict in the hate-crime trial of three brothers charged with harassing a Coeur d’Alene man last August. The jury announced it had reached a verduct in the case of Ira G. Tankovich, 48, who was charged with conspiracy to commit malicious harassment. They said, however, that they had reached an impasse on charges of malicious harassement against William M. Tankovich, 49, and Frank J. Tankovich, 46, who faced that charge in addition to the conspiracy charge. Jurors didn’t consider the additional conspiracy charges against the two because of confusion about how to proceed, they told the judge. The jury has begun deliberating again on the charges against William and Frank Tankovich, without announcing the verdict on the charge facing Ira Tankovich/Alison Boggs, SR. More here.

Tankovich Erases Smile Just In Time

The hate crime trial in Coeur d’Alene taught one of the defendants to check his gear before he draws a practical joke. Deputy Prosecutor Art Verharen used an erasable board to have a witness draw how the Tankovichs’ pickup, which had a swastika and “born to kill” written in the dirt, parked in front of the home of Kenneth Requena in Coeur d’Alene. During a trial break, Frank Tankovich (right) drew a smiley face on the board. But to Tankovich’s chagrin, he didn’t realize it was a permanent marker until he tried to erase the face before Kootenai County 1st District Judge John Luster returned to the courtroom/Thomas Clouse, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: What do you make of the defendant’s practical joke?

Tankovich Hate Crime Trial Begins

The trial against three Coeur d’Alene brothers charged with threatening a Hispanic man has made it through most of the first day without the need for a judge to call a mistrial. Last week, the trial didn’t make it through the first witness before 1st District Judge John Luster halted the proceedings when Deputy Prosecutor Art Verharen played a tape of a 911 call where witness Julie Oliver told police that the incident was a “racist thing.” Today, attorneys for Ira G. Tankovich (pictured), 48, William M. Tankovich, 49, and Frank J. Tankovich, 46, were able to present opening arguments and begin calling witnesses before testimony was put on hold to deal with legal issues surrounding the wife of the alleged victim/Thomas Clouse, SR. More here.

S&G: Suspect Faces Hate Crime

A  man accused of trying to rob a Spokane taco truck owner may have targeted the victim because of his race, new court documents allege. Michael A. Brewer, 22, has been charged under Washington’s hate-crime law after police say he yelled racial slurs while trying to rob Jonas J. Perez-Lopez at knifepoint last week. Brewer is to be arraigned on charges of attempted first-degree robbery and malicious harassment April 13 in Spokane County Superior Court. He’s being held at Geiger Corrections Center on $7,500 bail after appearing in court this week/Meghann M. Cuniff, Sirens & Gavels. More here.

Question: Should an individual accused of a crime like the one above be charged w/a hate crime simply because racial epithets were yelled in commission of the crime?

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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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