Charges were expected into possible hate crimes against white supremacists arrested for beating a Black man in Washington state on Saturday while they were in town to celebrate the so-called “Martyr’s Day,” which commemorates the death of a neo-Nazi.
The FBI and Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office launched a joint hate-crimes investigation of eight neo-Nazis arrested for assaulting the African-American DJ at a nightclub in Lynnwood, the Seattle Times reported Tuesday.
Authorities said the hate group tried to take over the DJ equipment. When the still unidentified victim resisted, the white supremacists beat and stomped him while yelling racial slurs at him. The DJ was treated for multiple non-life-threatening injuries.
The white supremacists expected to be charged Tuesday included seven men and one woman. They were held on bail ranging from $15,000 to $100,000, except for one of the suspects who was released on his own recognizance.
Martyr’s Day commemorates the anniversary of a hateful white man who led a domestic terrorist group called The Order in the mid-1980s. He has become an inspiration for the modern white supremacy movement after he was killed in a shootout with FBI agents in Washington state, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate crimes watchdog organization.
White supremacists there gather each year to honor their hero, which is what the neo-Nazi group was doing Saturday before attacking the DJ on the anniversary of white supremacist leader’s death—hours after a Virginia jury convicted James Alex Fields of first-degree murder for using his car to run down anti-racism protester Heather Heyer in 2017 at the Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville.
Members of the group traveled to Washington from several states, including Illinois, Oregon, and South Carolina. They demanded that the DJ play some “hard stuff,” referring to heavy metal, instead of the R&B and Top 40 tunes being played, according to witnesses. When the DJ failed to comply, the racists attacked him and an Asian to came to the DJ’s aid.
“We do not and will not ever tolerate acts of hate in Snohomish County. The violent behavior directed at members of our community over the weekend simply because of their race is disgusting. The Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the FBI in hopes of getting the strongest sentencing possible for these hate crimes,” Snohomish County Sheriff Ty Trenary said in a statement Monday.