Conrad Alvin Barrett of Katy, Texas has been charged for a “knockout” assault against an elderly black man in what authorities are calling a hate crime. The federal complaint stated that Barrett attacked “because of the man’s race and color.” The complaint also noted that Barrett “hit the man with such force that the man immediately fell to the ground. Barrett then laughed and said ‘knockout,’ as he ran to his vehicle and fled.”
Barrett also filmed the attack, and stated his goal in the video: “the plan is to see if I were to hit a black person, would this be nationally televised?”
George Parnham, Barrett’s attorney, commented to CNN that his client suffers from bipolar disorder. “Mental health issues definitely played a part in anything that occurred,” Parnham said.
The “knockout game” has been spreading across the country, and many cases have been linked to discrimination and hate crimes. “Hate crimes tear at the fabric of entire communities,” U.S. Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels said. “As always, the Civil Rights Division will work with our federal and state law enforcement partners to ensure that hate crimes are identified and prosecuted, and that justice is done.”