No hate crime charges in July 4 Fountain Square melee - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

No hate crime charges in July 4 Fountain Square melee

60 officers, some in riot gear, responded to the July 4 Fountain Square melee (FOX19 NOW) 60 officers, some in riot gear, responded to the July 4 Fountain Square melee (FOX19 NOW)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Three people accused of beating a man after a July 4 concert on Fountain Square will not be charged with hate crimes, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters announced on Tuesday.

Last week, Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell asked Deters to consider hate crime charges after Facebook videos surfaced showing Christopher McKnight beaten and bloody on the pavement. McKnight was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken nose with several abrasions and bruises, according to Deters.

Mordecia Black, 28, Raeshaun Hand, 19, and Steven Montgomery, 18, were indicted Tuesday on charges of felonious assault, aggravated riot and inducing panic in connection with the beating. A juvenile is also charged.

“There has been a lot of discussion as to whether or now the assault on Mr. McKnight was racially motivated. There is no evidence of this,” said Deters.

The unrest started as a concert at the square ended around 11 p.m. Only eight officers were patrolling the area when people began hurling bottles and fireworks at police. 60 officers, some in riot gear, responded. Officer Roger Noe and Officer Joe Simpson were struck in the face. 

Jy Quynn Britten, 21, and a juvenile suspect are charged with assaulting the officers.  Gary Sheffield, 29, Orlando Thomas, 18, and Tyre Burke, 18, were indicted Tuesday on aggravated riot and inducing panic in connection to the officers’ assault.

McKnight was assaulted as the melee spilled to Government Square. The 1-minute video of the beaten victim was uploaded to Facebook and viewed thousands of times. Watch the video at this link. (Warning: Contains graphic images and language.) 

Deters said the Hamilton County hate crime statute “only covers five misdemeanors committed with racial motivation. The criminals who assaulted Mr. McKnight did not commit misdemeanors against him, they committed serious felonies. As a result, our “hate crime” statute does not apply.”

If convicted on all charges, the beating suspects could face in excess of nine years in prison.

Mayor John Cranley called the incident an “event-based problem” and said more officers should have been patrolling the area. As a result, the remaining Saturday night concert series on Fountain Square was canceled. 

The Saturday night hip hop series at Fountain Square has been booked and promoted by Self-Diploma and 3CDC for the past five years. This year's series was originally slated to run until September. 

Copyright 2015 WXIX. All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • 'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    'Papa! Papa!' Audio of children stokes rage over separation

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:20 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:20:32 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:43 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:43:50 GMT
    (U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...(U.S. Customs and Border Protection's Rio Grande Valley Sector via AP). In this photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a U.S. Border Patrol agent watches as people who've been taken into custody related to cases of illegal entry into the...
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their...Full Story >
    An audio recording that appears to capture the heartbreaking cries of small Spanish-speaking children being processed by U.S. officials stoked the uproar over the policy of separating immigrant children from their parents.Full Story >
  • Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Trump administration pulls US out of UN human rights council

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:00 PM EDT2018-06-19 16:00:59 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:43 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:43:06 GMT
    (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...(Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File). FILE - This is a Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2008 file photo, showing a general view of the Human Rights Room (Room XX) at the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Diplomats say the United...
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.Full Story >
    The Trump administration is poised to announce its departure from the United Nations' main human rights body in its latest withdrawal from an international institution.Full Story >
  • Trump raises risk of economically harmful US-China trade war

    Trump raises risk of economically harmful US-China trade war

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 12:20 AM EDT2018-06-19 04:20:31 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 11:41 PM EDT2018-06-20 03:41:28 GMT
    President Donald Trump gestures as he signs a "Space Policy Directive" during a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence watches.  AP Photo/Susan Walsh)President Donald Trump gestures as he signs a "Space Policy Directive" during a meeting of the National Space Council in the East Room of the White House, Monday, June 18, 2018, in Washington, as Vice President Mike Pence watches. AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

    A new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports is being threatened by Trump in the latest move toward what could become a trade war.

    Full Story >

    A new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports is being threatened by Trump in the latest move toward what could become a trade war.

    Full Story >
Powered by Frankly