Over the weekend, police in Des Moines, Iowa, reported they are investigating a potential hate crime after a 22-year old man named DarQuan Jones was found beaten on Saturday morning. The Des Moines Register is reported that police are on the lookout for the culprits described by witnesses as three white men.
According to the Des Moines Register, Jones told the police he was walking to his girlfriend’s house nearby around 3:25 am in the early morning when he suddenly heard a group of men yelling racist insults before they began physically attacking him. The local police reported to the scene after witnesses called in an attack after finding a badly injured Jones on the ground before being transported to a nearby hospital.
This past Sunday, the local NAACP chapter held a press conference to address the alleged hate crime with Jones’ father in attendance where he told reporters that his son’s jaw was broken in five places. The local chapter is now pressuring officials to further investigate the attack and classify it as a hate crime.
“After speaking with Quan, his family and the witnesses that have come forward, if the story is as they state it is, then what occurred yesterday should be nothing less than a hate crime,” Kameron Middlebrooks, the president of the Des Moines NAACP, told reporters according to the Des Moines Register. “(DarQuan Jones) nearly had his life taken. If it wasn’t for two witnesses that came to his aid, we could have been working with the family on funeral arrangements.”
Despite the alleged racist comments reported by Jones, the Des Moines police stated that further investigation needs to be conducted before labeling it as a hate crime.
“Our detectives are continuing to investigate this case,” a spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department, Sgt. Paul Parizek, said. “We do not want to compromise the integrity of the case or tip potential suspects to our progress. “Bottom line for us is that he was hurt bad, and we want to find the people responsible. We need to find them before we can determine a motive.”