HomeChinese AmericanHate crime charges dropped in attack of Chinatown leader

Hate crime charges dropped in attack of Chinatown leader

Prosecutors dropped hate crime charges against a man accused in the beating of Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce leader Carl Chan.

In exchange, James Lee Ramsey entered a plea of no contest to assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury, reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chan said he understood the decision.

“Definitely I’m not happy about dropping it, that’s for sure. However, because of the legal system itself, to make that enhancement makes it so much more work and difficult,” Chan told KTVU.

He says just because the charge was dropped, doesn’t mean a hate crime was not committed. He wants to make it easier for prosecutors to pursue such a charge in the future.

The outspoken Chan who has been at the forefront in Oakland about speaking out against attacks against Asians was assaulted from behind as he walked up the street in April. He said Ramsey uttered a racial slur prior to the attack.

Ramsey still faces four years in state prison, but prosecutors can ask that he serve his time in a mental facility.

“This was not a hate crime, and we’re glad that enhancement was properly dismissed,” said Alameda County Chief Public Defender Brendon Woods in a statement to the Chronicle. “Mr. Ramsey needs mental health treatment, not state prison.”

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