Federal Prosecutors Say Hate Crime Defendant's Confederate Flag Tattoo Is “Indicative Of White Supremacy”
In a hate crimes complaint, the U.S. Department of Justice has identified a criminal defendant’s tattoo of the Confederate flag as “indicative of white supremacy,” according to court records.
Federal prosecutors today announced the filing of criminal charges against a pair of Toldeo, Ohio residents in connection with the beating of Adrian Williams, 46, in mid-May. A U.S. District Court complaint alleges that Charles Butler, 33, and Robert Paschalis, 25, assaulted Williams “because he was black.”
The hate crimes charges were announced today by Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s civil rights division, and Ohio federal prosecutors.
In an FBI affidavit supporting the complaint, Agent Ian Moore described Butler as an avowed racist whose Facebook account reveals his “white supremacy.” Agent Moore noted that Butler’s Facebook page includes photos and posts of “Adolph Hitler, burning crosses, Nazi war eagles, Aryan Nationalist Alliance logos, Confederate flags, the Ku Klux Klan, references to President Obama as a monkey, and various white pride symbols.”
In a section of the complaint titled “Evidence of Racial Animus,” the federal agent also noted that Butler has “numerous tattoos indicative of white supremacy, including the German War Eagle, a portrait of Adolph Hitler, a Swastika and a Confederate flag.”
Following his arrest by Toledo cops, Butler claimed that the beating victim called him a “cracker” due to “his Confederate flag and the ‘Don’t tread on me’ sticker on his truck,” according to the criminal complaint.
Williams, identified by the initials “A.W.” in the complaint, suffered an orbital fracture and damage to his right eye during the May 18 attack. In a court filing, Attorney General Loretta Lynch reported that state prosecutors asked their federal counterparts to assume jurisdiction because “it is in the public interest and necessary to secure substantial justice.”