Four men involved in the racially-motivated assault of a Black DJ at the Rec Room Bar & Grill in unincorporated Lynnwood in December 2018 were sentenced Friday in the U.S. District Court in Seattle.
Jason DeSimas, 45, Jason Stanley, 46, Randy Smith, 42, and Daniel Dorson, 27, had each pleaded guilty to one crime of committing a hate crime, as well as one count of making false statements to investigators about their role in the assault.
Speaking at the sentencing hearings, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said, “Protecting the public is the primary concern of the court… Your crew was nothing more than a modern day, unhooded, KKK taking out hate on a Black man…. What you did demonstrated hate and ignorance.”
DeSimas and Stanley were each sentenced to four years in prison; Randy Smith was sentenced to 42 months in prison; and Dorson was sentenced to 28 months in prison.
“The defendants subjected a Black man to a brutal and racially-motivated assault,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Racially-motivated hate crimes terrorize entire communities, and they have no place in our society. The Department of Justice will continue to investigate and prosecute individuals who commit these abhorrent crimes.”
In their respective plea agreements, DeSimas, Stanley, Smith and Dorson each admitted that, on Dec. 8, 2018, they entered the bar with a large group that included fellow members of Crew 38 and the Hammerskins. Crew 38 is a support group for the Hammerskins, which is a white supremacist organization. The majority of the men in the group were similarly dressed in dark jeans or pants, black boots, black “bomber” jackets, and dark-colored t-shirts and had crew-cut hairstyles. Some wore jackets with either Crew 38 patches or other patches aligned with white supremacist beliefs.
In addition, many wore shirts with phrases, numbers or logos that expressed white supremacist beliefs and/or memberships, including Crew 38. Many in the group also had visible tattoos, including swastika tattoos, that expressed their views on white race superiority. Members of the group, including defendants Stanley and Smith, repeatedly gave the Nazi salute as they danced.
While in the bar, all four defendants assaulted T.S, a Black man who was serving as the disc jockey at the bar, when T.S. attempted to move defendant Stanley away from his music equipment. All four defendants punched and kicked T.S., even after he fell to the floor, while some in the group called T.S. racial slurs. Two bystanders attempted to intervene to help T.S. and stop the assault. The defendants and other assaulted both bystanders, causing them to sustain injuries. As a result of the defendants’ actions, T.S. suffered serious physical injuries, including extreme pain, loss of consciousness, bleeding and swelling in his eye and bruising on his back, chest and legs.
In their plea agreements, four defendants each admitted that they were members of Crew 38 and/or prospective members of the Hammerskins, and that they had traveled to the Lynnwood area with others to attend events related to “Martyr’s Day,” an annual gathering honoring a white supremacist who died in a shootout with federal agents on Whidbey Island in the 1980s.
In their plea agreements, defendants DeSimas and Stanley each admitted that they knew that the Hammerskins had used a tactic known as “mutual combat” against members of groups whose beliefs they opposed. Members believed that, using this tactic, they could go to bars frequented by groups whose beliefs they opposed and have one or more members initiate a fight. When the fight began, other members of the group could jump in and assault their perceived antagonists, and later claim a defense of “mutual combat” as a way to avoid accountability.
In addition to the hate crime charge, each defendant pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to federal agents who were investigating the assault. In their respective plea agreements, these defendants each admitted that they made these false statements in order to cover up the motive for the assault, which was the bias they had against T.S.’s race.
The four defendants were charged in an indictment that was unsealed on Dec. 18, 2020.
Defendant Smith was charged in the District of Oregon in an unrelated case for illegal possession of a firearm. That charge was resolved Friday with a concurrent 10-month sentence.
“The myth of white supremacy is alive and well, and can foment dangerous behavior and violence,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown. “These particular defendants are deeply steeped in racial hatred, expressed through their Nazi tattoos, white supremacist symbols on their clothing, and their use of racist slurs. They came to our area to honor a man who died leading a racist and violent gang, and thought they could act on their beliefs with impunity.”
Why wouldn’t this place have immediately called the cops after these people showed up, to get them escorted out?
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