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Charges filed against 2 men accused of attacking Black man at Indiana lake

Charges filed against 2 men accused of attacking Black man at Indiana lake
Posted at 8:32 PM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 20:33:37-04

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Two white men have been charged in connection with an alleged racial attack on a Black man at an Indiana lake on the Fourth of July.

The alleged victim, Vauhxx Booker, said the news of charges against Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox "isn't a happy moment."

"It's a necessary moment," said Booker, a civil rights activist and member of the Monroe County Human Rights Commission.

Booker and his attorney, Katharine Liell, held a press conference after the Monroe County Prosecutor's Office announced charges Friday. It was held virtually, as Booker has recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Booker said five white men pinned him against a tree at Lake Monroe, shouted racial slurs and one of them threatened to “get a noose” during the incident over Independence Day weekend.

Booker said he's often asked what should happen to Purdy and Cox, and he says it's not for him to say.

"That's not my place to decide," he said. "We have a legal system and what I want now is for our neighbors to do their part and decide the fate of these individuals."

According to a report released Thursday by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, state investigators identified six potential crimes by Sean Purdy and Jerry Cox, as well as Booker. No charges have been filed against Booker by the prosecutor's office.

"This is about justice," Booker said. "Part of that is going to be the need to move on to the federal level. This stopped being just about me and stopped being about the nation the moment I chose to speak out."

Purdy faces the following charges:

  • 35-42-3-3(a)/F5: Criminal Confinement with bodily injury
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
  • 35-45-2-1(a)(4)/F6: Intimidation

Purdy’s legal team is aware of the charges and will not be responding Friday.

Cox faces the following charges:

  • 35-42-3-3(a)/F5: Criminal Confinement with bodily injury
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/F6: Battery Resulting in Moderate Bodily Injury
  • 35-45-2-1(a)(4)/MA: Intimidation
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/MB: Battery
  • 35-42-2-1(c)(1)/MB: Battery

This story was originally published by Matt McKinney at WRTV.