In another case of being black while in America, we again find ourselves asking for the justice the constitution says we equally deserve.
According to Des Moines Register, 22-year-old DarQuan Jones from Des Moines, Iowa, was viciously and racially attacked by three white men around 3 AM on May 16. As a result, he has suffered a broken arm, a broken nose, and five broken bones in his face. Local civil rights activists say he is a victim of a hate crime.
In an interview with the local newspaper, Jones explained that he was walking to his girlfriend’s house in the early hours of Saturday when three white men came up and attacked him. He said he didn’t know the suspects, but he indicated that they thought he was trying to break into a house. He was waiting outside the home of his girlfriend, and the men proceeded to attack him when she didn’t open the door, Complex reports.
The suspects appeared to be in their 30s and intoxicated. “When I saw they were stumbling, I already knew something wasn’t going to go right,” he said.
Jones and witnesses say at least one suspect yelled racial slurs while attacking him. He attempted to run away, but they caught up with him, choking and punching him numerous times.
“I couldn’t breathe, I just kept blacking out,” he added. “I could see my whole life just going in and out, in and out.”
The suspects dragged him to a nearby creek and held his head underwater. “I thought it was over for me… the only thing that was in my head was, They’re going to kill me.” He recalled hearing a gun cock.
Tyia Campbell, 40, and her friend heard the commotion and came outside. The suspects allegedly yelled that they “need to get out of our area, we’re going to get all of you out here” before fleeing the scene. Campbell called the police after discovering Jones lying on the ground.
Sergeant Paul Parizek, the spokesperson for the Des Moines police, said the department has not labeled the attack as racially motivated, at least not until the suspects are found, and their motive is determined. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
President of Des Moines NAACP chapter, Kameron Middlebrooks, argues that it should be considered a hate crime and said Tuesday, the assault comes on the heels of recent events that have victimized the black community, both locally and nationally. “From Ahmaud Arbery to Breonna Taylor, recent events have shown that African-Americans nationwide are still grappling with the fatal effects of racism. Des Moines is not immune to those effects,” Middlebrooks said. “This is not acceptable. This will not be tolerated in our city.”
Adding to the racial tension, the virtual meeting between the Des Moines City Council and the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission was cancelled after someone infiltrated the online gathering and uttered racial and sexual slurs.
“I just want to know why did it have to be this brutal, why did it have to go this far?” Jones asked Tuesday. “Where my life was almost taken? Like, why?”