Black teens in Long Beach, California face hate crime charges
Los Angeles County prosecutors today filed hate crimes charges against eight black teenagers accused of beating up three white women on Halloween night in a case that has startled and divided Long Beach.
Authorities said they took the action after concluding that the teens attacked and beat the women in the upscale Bixby Knolls area because they were white.
The case has been the subject of a wrenching public dialogue over the last few weeks in the racially diverse city of 460,000, with civil rights groups like the NAACP condemning the teenagers' alleged actions and the city holding a public forum meant to ease tensions. The attack occurred on a block known for fancy Halloween decorations.
According to police, a mob of mostly girls, ages 12 to 17, allegedly hurled racial insults at the women, threw small pumpkins and lemons at them, and then knocked them to the ground with kicks, punches and swings of a skateboard.
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