DA investigating civil rights violations following Kroger parkin - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

DA investigating civil rights violations following Kroger parking lot attack

While two of the three victims of this brutal attack were white, Armstrong pointed out that one was black.(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) While two of the three victims of this brutal attack were white, Armstrong pointed out that one was black.(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Toney Armstrong (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Toney Armstrong (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Amy Weirich (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Amy Weirich (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC) - Dozens of people took to social media to share their opinions about the Kroger parking lot attack, many calling it a hate crime.

As of Monday, police say that is not the case.

"We acknowledge that a majority of the juveniles, a majority of the suspects involved in this were African-American," Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said.

While two of the three victims of this brutal attack were white, Armstrong pointed out that one was black.

"At this point we don't have sufficient enough evidence to investigate this as a hate crime," Armstrong said.

"It will fall on the shoulders of our juvenile prosecution team to make sure justice is done for the victims on that Kroger parking lot and for the entire community," District Attorney Amy Weirich said.

She says there are both state and federal statutes regarding civil rights violations based on race or "hate crimes." And it may be too early in this case to rule anything out.

"We will make sure every law in the state of Tennessee that fits these facts is applied," she said.

The DA says the fact that the assaults happened in a mob setting could enhance the charges.

Meanwhile, opinions and outrage over the seemingly random, violent attack will continue to play out in public.

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