A white Alabama teenager was brutally beaten after allegedly posting online his support for the police, in an attack his mother is calling a racially-motivated hate crime.
Brian Ogle, 17, sustained a fractured skull and brain trauma after he was beaten by multiple people in an empty parking lot after a high school football game Friday night, his mother Brandi Allen told WBMA.
“Not knowing if my son is going to make it to his 18th birthday this month—I don’t know if anybody can understand what that feels like,” she said.
Allen said her son was targeted for posting pro-law enforcement comments on Facebook after some students at Sylacauga High School, where he attends school, wore Black Lives Matter shirts to class last week.
Sylacauga Police Department Chief Kelley Johnson called the attack a “senseless act of violence” and urged prayers and calm as authorities investigate.
“I do ask for all of your help in trying to relieve tensions in our city by not posting negative things on social media. I understand that some of you are concerned that SPD or BOE will ‘sweep this under the rug,’ but any intelligent person should see that that is not possible,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am not one to ‘sweep’ any crime under anything much less a crime as violent as this.”
Authorities are trying to obtain warrants on possible suspects. The Talladega County District Attorney will later determine if the incident is considered a hate crime.
“I want to see them in jail,” Allen said. “This most certainly is a race issue. It’s a hate crime. My son could have lost his life. I won’t stop until they are punished.”