A pair of siblings in Boston, Massachusetts targeted and ambushed a 58-year-old homeless Latino man because one brother was “inspired in part” by 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, the Boston Globe reported.
Police arrived on the scene early Wednesday to a homeless man covered in urine, whose nose was broken and chest and arms were battered. The victim told police that “he was awakened by two men urinating on his face.” He said they ripped away his blankets and sleeping bag, hit him in the face and the head, and punched him several times. According to the Boston Globe, several witnesses saw the homeless man being attacked.
The victim is in fair condition, though he has a broken nose and multiple bruises on his head and torso.
Scott Leader, one of the two brothers, told police that the victim started the confrontation. He also reportedly said that “it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless,” adding, “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”
In his campaign launch speech, GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made incendiary comments suggesting that Mexican immigrants are rapists, drug dealers, and killers — remarks that immigrant advocacy groups widely condemned.
Boston officials, including Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Police Commissioner William B. Evans, condemned the Leaders. When Trump heard about the incident, he reportedly said, “It would be a shame… I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”
Trump’s assumptions about immigrants being criminals are simply unfounded. A recent Immigration Policy Council report found that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native-born Americans. In this case, the Leader brothers have extensive criminal records.
Hate crimes against Latinos have been on the rise for some time. Statistics published annually by the Federal Bureau of Investigation have found that anti-Latino crimes rose by 35 percent between 2003 and 2006, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. And a 2013 FBI Hate Crime Statistics report found that 52.6 percent of 821 Latino victims were targeted because of anti-Hispanic or anti-Latino bias.
Still, attacking a homeless Latino man in Boston was perhaps an illogical choice for the Leader brothers. There are actually over 10,000 undocumented Irish immigrants living in the city. Trump, for his part, once advocated for European-only immigration.
Scott Leader also once served a year in prison for a hate crime after he attacked a Moroccan man in Boston just days after after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, according to court records.
On Friday, Donald Trump tweeted, "Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence."
Boston incident is terrible. We need energy and passion, but we must treat each other with respect. I would never condone violence.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2015