After more than a year-long trial, the suspect who smashed Black teenager’s face with bike chain is finally convicted and will spend the next five years in prison. The incident happened when the suspect confronted a group of Black teenagers allegedly telling the boy “Black lives don’t matter,” before knocking his teeth out.
According to court reports, the suspect 43-year-old Lee M. pleaded guilty to willfully causing bodily injury to an 18-year-old because of the teen’s race last March.
Lee confronted the group of Black teenagers for no reason in Michigan in June 2020. The victim, 18-year-old Devin F., was hanging out with his two other friends when they suddenly heard the suspect yelling from the distanced parking lot.
Multiple witnesses confirmed that Lee was walking down the nearby park with his family when he became apparently upset about the teens playing music.
The police records indicate that the teenagers were playing music from their portable speaker when out of a sudden Lee approached Devin and his friends and started yelling at them, making racial comments about the teens.
“I wish someone would say something to me so I can beat them,” allegedly Lee told the teenagers.
Shortly after their first encounter, Lee confronted the teenagers on the parking lot allegedly telling the group “Black lives don’t matter.”
“I’ve got something for you in my car,” Lee was commenting as he was walking away from the group.
Just when the teenagers and the witnesses thought Lee was leaving with his family, he returned with a bike chain, swung it at the 18-year-old’s face, knocked him to the ground and then swung at the witness but missed.
Lee admitted in court that he continued to offend the teenagers using racial slurs telling them Black people have no right to use the public beach. Then he struck the teen in the face with a bike lock, knocking out several of his teeth, cutting his face and mouth, and fracturing his jaw.
He also admitted he tried to hit another teenager with the bike, but missed.
“The defendant brutally attacked teenagers at a public beach because these young people are Black,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen C. for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
“Hate-fueled violent crimes like this have no place in our communities. Protecting Americans from hate crimes is a top priority of the Justice Department, and we will use every tool available to bring perpetrators to justice.”
In addition to Lee’s five-year-long jail sentence, U.S. District Judge Stephen M. ordered the attacker to serve three years supervised release.