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White Michigan Man Sentenced To Prison For Attacking Black Teen, Knocking Out His Teeth With Bike Lock

A white Michigan man was sentenced to prison for carrying out a racist attack against a Black teenager last year. 

A Detroit federal court judge ordered 43-year-old Lee Mouat to serve five years in prison for committing a hate crime against 18-year-old Devin Freelon Jr. on June 6, 2020, the Justice Department announced. The judge also ordered the 43-year-old to serve three years of supervised release.

In March, Mouat pleaded guilty to striking Freelon with a bike lock. He admitted that he attacked the teen because he was Black, as Blavity previously reported.

The Department of Justice investigated the case and released a statement on Thursday, saying the 43-year-old admitted to confronting Freelon and a group of teens at a state park in Monroe, Michigan last summer.

Mouat repeatedly used racial slurs and told the group that “Black people had no right to use the public beach where the incident occurred”.

The 43-year-old was initially upset with the teens for playing their music too loud and said “n****rs don’t belong on this beach” and “Black lives don’t matter.”

At some point, Mouat became physically aggressive and struck Freelon in the face with a bike lock. The 43-year-old knocked out several of Freelon’s teeth, gave him lacerations on his face and mouth and fractured his jaw. Mouat then tried to strike another Black teenager, but he missed.  

“The defendant brutally attacked teenagers at a public beach because these young people are Black,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said.

“Hate-fueled violent crimes like this have no place in our communities. Protecting Americans from hate crimes is a top priority of the Justice Department and we will use every tool available to bring perpetrators to justice,” she added.

Shortly after the incident took place, a GoFundMe page was set up to pay for Freelon’s medical expenses. He was able to raise more than $18,000, Fox 2 reported. At the time of the incident, Freelon was a senior in high school and slated to graduate in 2020. A dentist saw Freelon’s story and decided to give the teen a temporary fix so that he could have a new smile in time for graduation.  

In the DOJ’s statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Saima Mohsin said the DOJ’s top priority is to protect all U.S. citizens.

“The cowardly and unprovoked attack on this young victim is terribly disturbing. Every individual citizen has the fight to not live in fear of violence or attack based on the color of their skin,” Mohsin said.

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