Black man charged with hate crime after threatening White technician

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Columbia, Missouri – A Black man was arrested on Thursday for what police say was an anti-White hate crime—a rare concession to White Americans from a criminal justice system often accused of operating under a set of “double standards.”

According to reports, 47-year-old Mark Elliot Lewis was arrested and charged with harassment-motivated discrimination for a series of violent threats made against White people inside a Columbia Walgreens. A probable cause statement alleged that Lewis had walked inside the pharmacy and started screaming at a technician to retrieve his medication.

The 6′ 230lbs Mark Elliot Lewis is alleged to have committed a hate crime, over the course of an anti-White tirade at a local Walgreens pharmacy. According to a victim, Lewis threatened to kill White people and was believed to be in imminent danger. Photo: Boone County Sheriff’s Office.

After Lewis—who is Black—identified himself, he began to shout, “I’m gonna start killing white people,” per court documents. One victim—who is White—was so terrified of Lewis that she told law enforcement she believed he was going to open fire with a concealed firearm or return to the store and begin harming people at a later time.

Lewis was promptly taken into custody and placed inside the Boone County Jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond. According to police, Lewis currently has several active warrants for his arrest in the Kansas City metropolitan area, including at least one for assault.

Places like Columbia, Missouri, are well accustomed to acts of anti-White hatred and racial violence. During the 2020 George Floyd "summer of racial reckoning," a Columbia Walgreens—much like the one where Lewis had reportedly accosted members of the White working class—became targeted by a Black mob for looting and destruction. A video unearthed on Facebook would depict dozens of Black rioters swarming the building in the middle of the night in search of drugs and other valuables.

Violent scenes like this have only become the unfortunate norm, however. In 2013, a shooting in downtown Columbia resulted in the creation of the "Task Force on Community Violence," a mayoral imperative seeking to reduce or stem violent crime across the city. Despite their best efforts, crime has only surged, and according to official FBI crime statistics, it now affects 540 per 100,000 people in Columbia—a new high—and has cast doubt on the overall efficacy of the task force.

Members of Black Lives Matter swarm a Walgreens in Columbia, Missouri, with some mentioning the prospect of drugs inside the location. Video: Facebook.

“I think that instead of trying to find some new way to figure out community violence, we go back to what works, and what works is funding and supporting the Columbia Police Department to combat violent crime like we have done for years," said Columbia Police Officers Association President Matt Nichols in an interview with ABC 17 News.

According to the latest US Census Report estimates for 2024, Columbia, Missouri, is currently 73.6% White alone, a sharp decrease from 81.54% in the year 2000. Now facing growing Black (11.2%), Asian (6.1%), and mixed-race populations (5.9%), Whites in Columbia will increasingly face race-based challenges unless drastic policy measures are conducted to preserve the current majority.

“I’m gonna start killing white people.”

Mark Elliot Lewis, court documents.

The hate crime arrest of Mark Elliot Lewis, however, exists as a bold deviation from the norm, as instances of anti-White hate all too often slip through the cracks in criminal sentencing.

In April of 2023, a 6-year-old White girl and her father were brutally shot by a Black suspect in a small neighborhood in Gastonia, North Carolina. Jamie White, who had been described as a hero for acting as a human shield to protect his daughter, would later state that the shooter, Robert Singletary, admitted he "hated White people" before opening fire with two different handguns.

FBI crime statistics for Columbia, Missouri, are aggregated from the National Incident-Based Reporting System (NIBRS) and cover 12% of the total population. Infographic: FBI.

Despite the victim's testimony, hate crime charges were never issued to Singletary. Additionally, many interviews White had conducted with news media—including the Associated Press—omitted any mention of race or anti-White bigotry, and instead, the shooting was painted as a sudden attack stemming from a basketball rolling into Singletary's front lawn.

The incident would later ignite protests from White civil rights advocates, and highlight a concerning double standard festering in the dual institutions of journalism and law enforcement.

In May of 2023, two Black men were indicted for murder over the drive-by shooting death of a White handyman in Kenner, Louisiana. Despite police testifying that the killing may have been racially motivated—with the suspects admitting that they were on the hunt for White victims—hate crime charges were never pursued.

In November, Police hastily claimed there was "no evidence" of a hate crime after 15 non-White students brutalized a White teen on film in an alleyway close to his school. The victim, 17-year-old Jonathan Lewis Jr., would later succumb to his injuries, with police finally making arrests weeks after the ambush took place. The incident would later be described as a modern-day lynching.

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