South Carolina Sheriff Wants Hate Crime Law After Teenage Racist Not Charged

In Columbia, Richland County, South Carolina, Sheriff Leon Lott is calling for the state to enact a hate crime law after his department was not able to charge a 16-year-old for four days after he made racially charged death threats.

The teenager was eventually charged four days after making two videos that contained threats against students when a third video surfaced of him threatening to shoot people at the Cardinal Newman School. The school costs $1,000 a month, according to AP News.

The videos contained racial slurs and showed the teenager shooting a box that he said represented all Black men. In the video, the teenager uses at least two different guns, spews racial slurs and says Black people “are stinky and they just suck.”

The first two extremely racist videos were made in May. The teeneger sent them to other students in a private group text. But the videos weren’t turned into law enforcement until July 13.

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Law enforcement eventually removed 20 guns from the teenager’s home after he was arrested. The teenager will remain in jail until prosecutors or a judge can consider the entire case and he will be expelled from the school.

The teenager’s parents tried to withdraw him from school first, but the expulsion will remain on his record, Cardinal Newman officials told parents at a Thursday meeting, according to AP News. Parents were also told at the meeting that a second student has been expelled but no more details were given.

“It’s an absolute shame this state does not have a law against hate crimes,” Lott told AP News. “Our legislators have got to take some action. Look at the turmoil these videos have created in the community.”

South Carolina, Georgia, Wyoming and Arkansas are the only states without official hate crime laws to protect people of color. South Carolina Sheriff Lott said he hopes that will change.

However, there is a federal hate crime law and Donald Wood, the FBI Supervisory Special Agent in South Carolina, told AP News that federal agents are investigating the videos.