State Judge In Maine Orders Two White Men To Pay Black Man $1.25 Million For Racially Motivated Attack
The victim testified saying that if he hadn’t been able to escape, “I probably would have lost my life that night.”
A state judge from Maine has ordered that a Black man be paid over $1 million after being a victim of a racially motivated attack in 2018, the Associated Press reports.
The victim, Daimon McCollum, was randomly attacked in 2018 by Maurice Diggins and his nephew, Dusty Leo, of Biddeford. McCollum’s family had been celebrating one of his children’s receiving a college scholarship before McCollum walked to a local convenience store for a snack, encountering Diggins and Leo. From a vehicle, Diggins prevented McCollum from going into the store by circling around him and shouting racial taunts. Leo then approached McCollum and punched him in the jaw. McCollum ran away, and the men followed him to his home.
The judge handed down a default judgment against Diggins and Leo, who are currently being held in federal custody.
While McCollum’s attorney, Allyson Knowles, said that her client may never actually receive the awarded money, she praised the judgment, as it “demonstrates that this kind of conduct is abhorrent and won’t be tolerated.”
McCollum and his family initially relocated from the Bronx borough of New York City to Maine due to its low crime rate. However, following the assault, he decided to move out of Biddeford.
Diggins, meanwhile, has visible tattoos of symbols that represent hatred toward Black people and others, including swastikas and the initials “WPWW” for “White Pride World Wide,” which played a huge part in the trial. At Diggins’ sentencing, according to the Portland Press Herald, U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen said Diggins told his wife during a recorded jail call that several people from the state shared the same racist views and would protect him from a guilty verdict.
Diggins was sentenced to 10 years after being convicted of two counts of committing a hate crime and one count of conspiracy. His nephew pleaded guilty and received a three-year sentence. He is scheduled to be released from federal custody toward the end of November 2023.
After the attack, McCollum’s mouth was wired shut for a month. During his testimony, he said that if he hadn’t been able to escape,
“I probably would have lost my life that night.”
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