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Kentucky Group Says Cops Wrong With Hate Crime

Kentucky Group Says Cops Wrong With Hate Crime


The president of the Kentucky Equality Federation is firing back at state police, who are saying an alleged attempt to kill a lesbian teenager was not a hate crime.

Jordan Palmer of the KEF said that while Kentucky state law does not provide for a hate-crimes charge, police officers don't have the final word on what is and is not a hate crime. He added that the sentencing judge, if the accused women are found guilty, may determine whether the primary motivation for a crime is hate, according to United We Stand Kentucky. Additional penalties may then apply.

Ashley Sams and Corrine Schwab, both 18, along with an unnamed 17-year-old, were arrested and charged with kidnapping fellow student and friend Cheyenne Williams. Authorities say the assault involved them trying to push her off a cliff at Flat Lick Falls on Friday, the National Day of Silence. Williams eventually escaped.

Sams and Schwab posted bond last week. They will be arraigned Monday.

Kentucky State Police sergeant Matt Feltner said the incident was "not a hate crime." He added that police are also investigating whether the assault was a prank.

However, Williams's mother said the alleged assault happened because her daughter is a lesbian. She also said Cheyenne was too scared to return to school and that she will complete her final two months of high school at home but will graduate on time with her class.

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