July 25, 2024


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Activists call for man assaulting boy to face hate crime charges

4 min read


Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber, alongside the mom of the child pushed off his bike in Deep River, is calling for the man accused to face hate crime charges.

DEEP RIVER, Conn. — Community activists gathered in Deep River Wednesday to call for the man seen in a video pushing an 11-year-old off his bike to face hate crime charges.

Last Monday, 48-year-old Jameson Chapman was seen pushing Daniel Duncan off his bike, injuring the boy. Chapman faces third-degree assault, breach of peace, and risk of injury to a child charges. He does not face hate or bias charges at the moment.

“We feel as though this is more of a hate crime than it is a risk of injury to a young kid,” Rev. Dr. Boise Kimber with the Greater New Haven Clergy Association said. “Why did he have to single out this one biracial black individual?”

RELATED: Hateful flyers surface in 15 Connecticut towns; state police and FBI investigating

Kimber says this would have been a different situation if the child was white. Mom Desiree Dominique says Duncan is still traumatized from the incident and is concerned that there are people in Deep River who seem to support Chapman.

“We have to stay present and we have to stay diligent and awake,” she said.

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Chapman was released on a $10,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in a Middletown court this month. The activists argue the bond would have been higher if the child was white.

They say town officials need to do more to address this issue. First Selectman Angus McDonald says they are planning public forums and workshops this month to discuss it. Kimber says those conversations need to include people of color.

“We must be at the table to share our concerns on how we desire to be treated in a white society,” he said.

RELATED: Deep River community rallies against racism, calls for action from town leaders

McDonald agrees that all voices matter and welcomes minority voices. He said he was not aware activists were meeting outside town hall Wednesday. Kimber said they did not notify him.

“I want this to be a dialogue. This is the beginning of a conversation that should be happening all the time,” McDonald said. “I hope that within a week or ten days we have the first of what becomes maybe an annual but certainly a good beginning to a dialogue between anyone in the public who wants to come to the town hall.”

The first selectman says he is waiting for the investigation to be complete before he comments on whether Chapman should face hate crime charges. He said the video only shows part of what happened that day but says the incident should have never happened. 

He says the town welcomes input from those who can give advice on how to continue the dialogue and ensure residents and visitors that the town is working to keep them safe. McDonald says they are working with the Anti-Defamation League and still trying to figure out who else can help.

The activists also want to communicate with the school district. They say the district did not reach out to offer counseling for the child after the incident and the family has faced other issues within school they want to discuss including name-calling, the mom says.

Superintendent Brian White said in a statement to FOX61, “The Chester, Deep River, Essex and Region 4 Public Schools remain committed to providing support and assistance for our students, their families and the communities we serve. In light of recent events, our schools stand at the ready to partner with the Town of Deep River in its efforts to provide a safe, supportive community for its residents.”

Activists Wednesday said this type of behavior shouldn’t happen to anyone no matter where they live and what their skin color is. 

FOX61 reached out to the state’s attorney in Middlesex County pursuing the charges against Chapman about potential hate crime charges and is waiting to hear back.

Tony Black is a multi-media journalist at FOX61 News. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

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