Sarah Gibson, New Hampshire Public Radio, August 7, 2019
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office released a 25-page report Wednesday summarizing its investigation into a high-profile attack involving children in Claremont in 2017.
The report revolves around the events of August 28, 2017, when a group of 13 and 14 year olds were accused of tying a rope around an 8-year-old biracial boy’s neck and pushing him off a picnic table, leading to serious injuries.
In its report, the AG found that the attacks did not meet the criteria of a hate crime. It concluded that the victim put the rope around his own neck as the older children had done themselves. Then, a 13 year old pushed the victim off the picnic table, leading to his injuries.
That teen was charged with three delinquencies, which, if he had been over 18, could have sent him to jail or prison. The AG found that the teen had fought physically with the victim earlier that day. Even though he and another teenager likely had made racist remarks to the victim and his sister earlier, the AG concluded that racism did not motivate the actual attack.
On Thursday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office responded by stating that the purpose of their investigation was not to clear the juvenile’s name, but, as their report says, “to determine whether there was credible evidence that the one or more of the older children involved was substantially motivated to commit a crime against the victim because of hostility toward that child’s race.”