On Friday night, several attackers beat a 17-year-old from Sylacauga, Alabama, so hard for expressing his pro-police views that he had to be taken immediately to hospital. The boy’s mother believes that this Friday’s incident is a hate crime and seeks justice.
The woman told reporters that a group of teenagers attacked her underage son, Brian Ogle, after a football game at his school. Apparently, the attackers were irked the teen had the courage to say he backed the blue amid anti-police violence protests.
Initially, doctors described the boy’s condition as critical. They reported a brain trauma and fractured skull. So, his mother doesn’t know whether he’ll make it to his birthday this month. As of Monday, UAB Hospital medics said the boy’s condition was improving from critical to fair.
The police confirmed the group attacked the boy shortly after a homecoming game at his high school. According to his mother, the teen, who is white, made the bold statements on Facebook. He posted Blue Lives Matter after several of his classmates had showed up in school wearing Black Lives Matter shirts.
Ogle’s Facebook page contains multiple posts related to BLM movement and violent protests. He also posted a video showing an African American male hugging Charlotte police officers during a simiar protest.
Tensions Reported Before the Assault
Sylacauga school district confirmed that it has been aware of the tensions at Sylacauga High School, where the boy is studying. Authorities believe that these tensions might have contributed to the recent assault.
The police on the other hand declined to link the incident to students at the school or BLM members, citing an ongoing investigation. But the police chief described the attack as a “senseless act of violence.”
Still, the police acknowledged some citizens may be concerned that authorities would sweep the entire thing under the rug. One spokesperson for the Sylacauga police department noted it is impossible to do it when the crime is so violent.
The Divide Between Races
The police chief called for community’s prayers for the 17-year-old fighting for his life, his family, and the investigators working on the case. He also called for a prayer for the entire community to help it peacefully resolve its conflicts and become a stronger community.
The chief talked about a “divide between the black and white races” which community and religious leaders should help bridge.
In the wake of the attack, the local police said they have ramped up security in local schools. Todd Freeman of the Sylacauga City Schools said the news of the attack grieved the school district.
“We are steadfastly praying for healing and a full recovery,”
A Mother Seeking Justice
But the boy’s mother said she won’t find peace until she sees her son’s attackers in jail. She thinks the assault had a racial motivation. According to the mother, Ogle told his principal about the threats he had received, but she said she could do nothing about it.
Sylacauga police recently announced they are after several “persons of interest,” but declined to say whether they arrested someone so far.
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