Monday, 10 Dec 2018
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"I'm here to kill a Mexican," said a Utah man before a brutal attack. He is not accused of hate crime.

Alan Dale Covington, 50, was arrested last week after allegedly attacking the owner of a tire shop in Salt Lake City and his son. (Salt Lake City Sheriff's Office.) This message contains graphic images. An hour after the opening of Lopez Tires on the morning of November 27th, no customer has yet come forward. Jose Lopez, 51-year-old owner of the 51-year-old Salt Lake City auto repair shop, stepped into the back office to prepare a chicken soup that his wife had prepared for him in the microwave. Then he heard his son Luis Gustavo Lopez, 18, screaming. Jose Lopez ran outside to see what was happening, his daughter, Veronica Lopez, said the Salt Lake Tribune. In the middle of piles of tall tires, he found a stranger brandishing a metal bar that seemed to have been ripped off a stop sign. "I am here to kill a Mexican," the man was quoted as saying before brutally hitting his father and son. A day later, the Salt Lake City Police Department announced that a suspect was in custody: Alan Dale Covington, 50, from Mississippi with a long rape leaf. Prosecutors said Friday that the attack would not be treated as a hate crime by the Utah courts – even though, according to information gathered by KUTV, Covington told the police he had targeted the store because its owners appeared to be Mexican. The reason? Under the Utah law, only crime offenses can be prosecuted as hate crimes. Covington is charged with two counts of aggravated assault. Salt Lake County Attorney Sim Gill said in the gallery, "Although we want to congratulate ourselves and say we have a hate crime law, it is really not enforceable." An initial police report said Covington said, "I'm going to kill someone," when he entered the tire shop, but Veronica Lopez said Covington had singled out Mexicans in particular, asking her father and his brother were part of the "Mexican Mafia", and commenting that he "hated[s] Mexicans. His father was standing in front of Luis, trying to protect him, she told the Tribune. Then Luis leaned over to grab a tool so he could defend his father. The stranger hit Luis in the face with the metal pipe, she said. Veronica Lopez said the man was still hitting his 18-year-old brother while he was lying on the floor, unconscious, then turned to Jose to attack him when He had tried to intervene. Finally, his uncle heard the screams and went out to see what was happening, thus scare the attacker. When the police arrived, Luis "bleed profusely in the face" and "gurgled and coughed with his own blood," according to court records obtained by KUTV.
The face of Luis Gustavo Lopez was "broken" during an attack, writes his sister Veronica Lopez. (GoFundMe.) Let's move on to
Veronica Lopez said her father was seriously injured in the back and had eight stitches on his arm and that his brother was worse. The right side of her face was "broken," she wrote, and surgeons had to use a titanium plate "to attach the bones and keep her eye in place." On the fundraising page, she shared disturbing photographs of him lying in a hospital. bed with a cervical collar around the neck and multiple tubes in the mouth, mouth and nose covered with dried blood. Neither Luis nor José have health insurance, she added, and Lopez Tires, the main source of income for the family, has remained closed since the attack. Donors quickly surpassed the campaign's target of $ 20,000, raising more than $ 52,000 on Monday morning. "I have lived at SLC for 40 years," wrote a donor. "I hate racism and hope your family will know that most of us know it. Be strong, heal and help defeat all hatred in our world. As of Sunday night, no lawyer could be found for Covington, who is being held with a $ 100,000 bail. The court records obtained by KSL indicate that he has been convicted of several criminal charges over the last ten years, including assault, property infringement and drug possession. In addition to the new charges of assault, he also faces drug and weapon charges resulting from his arrest last week, when he was found guilty of having an ax hatchet and a pack of heroin in his possession. The attack on Jose and Luis Lopez was "probably the most accurate example of the hate crime you can ever see," wrote Sunday columnist Salt Lake Tribune. The fact that it is not treated as justice in the courts of Utah, he added, is the result of the "harshness and cowardice" of the state's legislative power. The Utah Hate Crimes Act has long been a source of frustration for prosecutors and rights groups, Gehrke said, noting that Gill, the District Attorney, was fighting to change the law. for 18 years. At the same time, several cities and counties in Utah have passed resolutions calling on state legislators to address this deficiency. But for three years, bills that would allow officials to apply harsher sentences for hate crime to felony crimes have not progressed in Utah's Legislative Assembly. In 2016, state senator Steve Urquhart, a Republican representing the conservative stronghold of St. George, blamed his own church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had "effectively stifled" efforts to strengthen state laws on hate crimes, he told reporters. His criticisms came a day after the church issued a statement warning legislators against adopting legislation that would "upset the balance between gay rights and the law." freedom of religion, "reported the Tribune at the time. "I have asked church spokespeople in the past two years to shed light on the position of faith on hate crime legislation and have refused," wrote Gehrke. in his Sunday chronicle. "I asked again Friday and the answer? "We will not comment." The Salt Lake City Police Department had its own reasons for not wanting to bring hate crime charges against Covington, KUTV reported. According to judicial information obtained by the station, he reportedly told the police that the Mexican Mafia, a prison gang in California, had been looking for him for a decade and that he had entered the tire shop because "all know. "Jose and Luis Lopez have no affiliation with the gang," said Detective Greg Wilking of the Salt Lake City Police Department. He told KUTV that Covington, who has a history of mental health problems and who would have used drugs prior to the attack, specifically expressed a hatred of the Mexican mafia that did not necessarily target Mexican immigrants. general. For the Lopez family, however, what has happened is clearly a hate crime, no matter what the law enforcement officials say. Veronica Lopez told the podium that President Trump had been held responsible for the unprovoked and violent attack. and crime in the country. "My family feels focused," she said. More from Morning Mix: Sully, Bush's service dog, lies in front of his coffin before a last trip with the former president. An artist has suffered from mysterious symptoms for years. Then she realized that his sculpture was poisoning him. Michelle Obama swore by criticizing Sheryl Sandberg's "lean" mantra and Internet lost.

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