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Police claim ‘no evidence’ of hate crime in ‘lynching’ of White student

Update 11/14/23: Police have finally apprehended suspects in the beating death of White teenager Jonathan Lewis Jr, fifteen days after the attack took place. According to the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD), authorities arrested a total of 8 suspects, ages 13-17, who now face murder charges for the crime.

Homicide Lt. Jason Johansson said that nine search warrants were issued in total and allowed police to collect evidence—including cell phones and clothing items—that appear in the viral video that captured the attack. The juvenile suspects were taken into custody with the help of an FBI “Criminal Apprehension Team.” Johansson claims that the process is underway to try them as adults.

He also claimed there was “no evidence” that Lewis Jr’s death was a hate crime.

“As soon as a punch is thrown, ten subjects immediately swarm him,” he continued. “There’s a high likelihood that there’s additional video out there that we don’t have.”

According to the Police, the beating occurred over a stolen pair of wireless headphones and a vape pen. The items were taken from a friend of Lewis Jr., who then tried to intervene and get them back. When the parties met in a nearby alley to fight, that’s when the attack was unleashed, and Lewis Jr. was ambushed by up to 15 non-White teens, according to the footage.

The story of the alleged ‘lynching’ of Jonathan Lewis Jr. is ongoing, and the Justice Report will provide further updates as they become available.

Las Vegas, Nevada – A White student at a Las Vegas High School has died from his injuries, days after he fell victim to a targeted beatdown by up to 15 non-White students, according to Police. The brutal attack—which was recorded and passed around social media—has so far not resulted in any criminal charges and has since been referred to as a modern-day “lynching.”

According to reports, the attack occurred on Wednesday, Nov. 1, near Rancho High School when 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr. was critically injured in a fight against 15 non-White students. Lewis Jr.—who is White—was found knocked unconscious and bleeding from the head. Due to his injuries, he suffered from cardiac arrest, forcing school personnel to later administer life-saving CPR before being transported to University Medical Center.

Video of the attack was captured by student onlookers and circulated on TikTok, Instagram, and other social media platforms before being brutally suppressed. The Justice Report has obtained only snippets of the video, which clearly show a young man getting punched, kicked, and stomped on the ground by a group of non-White teenagers. In the video, the perpetrators can be heard laughing and giggling as the attack goes on.

Days after the fight, on the 7th, Lewis Jr. died from his injuries, as revealed by his father, Jonathan Lewis Sr. Authorities have yet to officially confirm Lewis Jr’s death, as the Clark County Coroner’s office was closed for the Veterans Day holiday.

Now that Lewis has passed away, Investigators plan to charge those accountable with murder. Despite their promises, the Police have yet to make a single arrest, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ). It is currently unknown if the authorities are considering hate crime enhancements for any of the 15 juvenile suspects. Lewis Sr. believes the fight began when his son tried to stick up for one of his friends before ultimately becoming a target himself.

Jonathan Lewis Jr. died from his injuries after getting pummeled by up to 15 Black students. He was on life support since the beating occurred on November 1st but tragically passed away from his injuries per his father on Tuesday, November 7th. Photo: GoFundMe.

“We’re all just trying to process this. The whole family is in shock,” said 38-year-old Jonathan Lewis Sr. in a phone interview with LVRJ. “Jonathan stood up for one of his smaller friends…and they all attacked him at once.”

According to his father, Lewis Jr. was a “loving, giving, kind, fierce young man” who aspired to join the U.S. Navy, like his grandfather. In life, he was a budding artist and photographer. His family has lived in the Las Vegas area for over 50 years.

“This horrific tragedy is reflective of the divisive, conflict-based, uncaring state that our society and humanity is currently facing with how we interact with our community,” said Lewis Sr. in a follow-up email. “The human RACE is calling screaming for us to see our unity calling us to break the cycle of the imprisonment of violence and apathy. This is a humanity thing, beloved people of the United States. Not a race thing!”

Jonathan Lewis Sr. is seen pictured with his son, Jonathan Lewis Jr., at various stages of his life. According to his dad, Jonathan Jr. died sticking up for a “smaller friend” and blames a lack of unity with the “human race.” Photos: GoFundMe.

Not everyone is as forgiving as Lewis Sr., however. On social media, residents of Las Vegas, Rancho High parents, and others in the community have decried the savagery as emblematic of the ongoing non-White violence epidemic festering throughout the United States.

“15 black kids,” said one commenter on a TikTok video related to Lewis’s beating death. “No one will do a thing about it they are afraid of BLACK people.”

On the popular social media platform Reddit, the sentiment continued. In one thread on Las Vegas’s official subreddit /r/vegas, a vast majority of commenters appeared sympathetic to Lewis Jr., with many demanding to know when hate crime charges would be issued to those involved. A search for the words “hate crime” on the now archived thread generated a total of 60 responses and lengthy commentary in support of treating Lewis Jr.’s apparent murder as a racially motivated one.

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“It’s a hate crime, and people have to demand (equal) treatment, or it won’t be. This is unacceptable and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent the law will allow,” commented one user in the thread.

“It should be a hate crime. I saw the video, and every kid that was beating on this white kid is black,” commented another user in a discussion on the subreddit /r/vegaslocals. “Imagine if this were reversed? It would be national news. Every kid that kicked, punched and joined needs a 20 years of imprisonment to (think) about this. I don’t want people that violent and filled with hate running around these streets. Also, I am mixed race and looking at this, it’s clearly a hate crime.”

To confirm sentiments felt on the ground in Nevada, the Justice Report contacted Howard Johnson, a Nevada-based organizer for the pro-White civil rights organization, the National Justice Party. According to him, what happened to Lewis was not merely a hate crime, but a lynching, qualifiable under the Federal Emmett Till Antilynching Act, signed in 2022.

@lasvegasmissingnmore2 #greenscreen #greenscreenvideo #lasvegasdobetter #lasvegasmissingnmore #wtf @FOX5 Las Vegas @clarkcountyschool #thisneedstostop ♬ original sound – LVMNM2

“Let’s call this what it is: a modern-day lynching of a White kid by a violent black mob,” said Johnson in a request for comment. “This is an increasingly common consequence of enabling—and excusing—Black violence in every public institution.”

“Yet another white child is dead, and justice, once again, is absent,” he continued.

According to the education data aggregator Great Schools, White students at Rancho High School in Clark County, Nevada, represent only a minuscule 7% of the total student body. Students like Jonathan Lewis Jr. would go to class every day alongside a “diverse” mix of Hispanic students (76%), Black students (9%), and mixed-race students (3%). The city of Las Vegas itself is no better in this regard. While the town is primarily a tourist location, the racial makeup of its permanent residents currently sits at a minority 40.4% White, 12.9% Black, and 33.3% Hispanic, according to the latest US Census Reports.

“Let’s call this what it is: a modern-day lynching of a White kid by a violent black mob.”

H. Johnson, National Justice Party Organizer

The overwhelmingly non-White makeup of the student population at Rancho High School has led to disastrous results over the years, going as far back as the 1960s and 70s. The hotly controversial school was famously home to a period of near-constant race riots, forcing Las Vegas police to patrol the streets with motorcycles and helicopters. To stop White students from being victimized, officers even maintained shooting positions on the rooftops of nearby buildings. This time in Las Vegas history is referred to as the “Rancho High School Riots” by historians.

Students at Rancho High School during an after-school gun violence rally in 2018. Photo: 8 News Now.

According to data obtained by 8 News Now, the Nevada Department of Education shows the Clark County School District recorded 7,158 “Incidents – Including Violence” during the 2021-22 school year. That number steadily increased in 2022-23 to 7,243.

“It’s really shaken us to the core, this is just an act of brutality that I’ve never witnessed at Rancho High School,” said State Assemblyman Reuben D’Silva, a teacher at Rancho, to 8 News Now. “…this brutal beating of one of our Rancho students took place over something so small, and meaningless.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Lewis family with the cost of a funeral for their son. At the time of publication, it had already raised $26,907 of its intended $25,000 goal.

Horrific acts of non-White violence—which primarily target White children and staff—is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly common in American schoolhouses. In February, four Black juveniles were charged with assault and menacing after six White elementary students were beaten, dragged, and forced to support Black Lives Matter in an Ohio schoolyard. In September, a gang of Black students was caught on film brutalizing a special-needs White student outside of a High School in Memphis, Tennessee.

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