Death Penalty Sought for White Supremacist
Prosecutors sought the death penalty against white supremacist Buford O. Furrow, who killed Filipino American postman Joseph Illeto after wounding five people in a shooting spree at a Jewish community center in Los Angeles. With Attorney General Janet Renos approval, U.S. Attorney Alejandro Mayorkas filed the death penalty notice. Furrow was indicted on hate crimes in the wounding of three boys, a teenage girl, a receptionist at the North Valley Jewish Community Center and the killing of Ileto. (Sept. 28)
SUNY Wrestlers Attack Asian Americans
Three white students on the State University of New York-Binghamton wrestling team attacked four Asian American students outside one of the campus dorms, yelling You damn chinks! and This is what you get for being chinks! Three victims suffered minor injuries. A fourth victim, John Lee, suffered a fractured skull, concussion, and internal hemorrhaging. The wrestlers were charged with felony and second degree gang assault but were not being charged with a hate crime because New York did not have a hate crimes law at the time (see Law and Policy) Two of the three suspects later pleaded guilty to some of the charges, while the third suspects trial went underway. (March 30, May 11, May 18, June 8)
Racist Shooting Spree in Pittsburgh
Richard Baumhammers, 34, opened fire in several suburban Pittsburgh communities April 28, killing five people and critically wounding a sixth. Baumhammers, a white lawyer, is accused of killing his neighbor, a Jewish woman, and opening fire on two men in an Indian market, killing one. Police say Baumhammers then killed two men one Vietnamese American and one Chinese American at a restaurant some miles away and a black man outside a karate school. He pleaded innocent in court, while prosecutors sought the death penalty. (May 4, Oct 12)
Ocean Shores Stabbing
On the Fourth of July, two Vietnamese American twin brothers and their friend were visiting the town of Ocean Shores, Wa., when they encountered Christopher Kinison, 20, who allegedly waved a Confederate flag and yelled racial slurs at them.
The altercation quickly led to a brawl that left Kinison dead with 23 stab wounds. One of the brothers, Duc Minh Hong, 26, was charged with first-degree manslaughter. Hong said that he defended himself during the racially-charged fight, while prosecutors claimed that Hong had used excessive force in stabbing Kinison.
On Dec. 13 a deadlocked jury declared a mistrial in Hongs case. (Dec. 21)