July 1, 2018

Black man charged with hate crime for calling cops "Nazis"

The Appeal - On Sept. 23, 2016, Robbie Sanderson, a 52-year-old Black man from North Carolina, was arrested for retail theft in Crafton, a small town near Pittsburgh.

During the arrest, Sanderson called police “Nazis,” “skinheads” and “Gestapo,” according to an affidavit of probable cause filed by the Crafton Borough police.

For that, he was charged with a hate crime.

“This is completely ridiculous,” said Mary Catherine Roper, deputy legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “This is not what the hate crime statute was for. This is criminalizing pure speech and that violates the First Amendment.”

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