Posted Jan. 24, 2008 – Four months after the Jena , La. demonstrations, a Louisiana teenager has been indicted on federal hate crime and conspiracy charges.
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On Sept 20, at the end of a peaceful rally in the racially tense town, some of the more than 20,000 demonstrators headed back to buses to return home to Tennessee. Jeremiah Munsen, 18, drove by in a red pickup truck with makeshift nooses, fashioned from extension cords, dangling from his truck.
While the teens were working to get a rise out of demonstrators, somebody was busy working to get in contact with the cops. Munsen was arrested shortly after his drive-by and charged with driving under the influence. Authorities also found brass knuckles and guns in his vehicle. Now he's facing federal hate crime charges.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, in a statement released Thursday, said that he feels the indictment charges are a "step in the right direction.
"I hope this is a signal that the Justice Department will now take the hangman's nooses and hate crimes more seriously. If they had prosecuted the White students that hung the nooses in Jena, we may have never had to raise the national outcry that we did. Our protest was over why some are prosecuted and others are excused."
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