NAACP says beating of Iowa man should be investigated as hate crime

The Des Moines chapter of the NAACP said Wednesday that the beating of an Iowa man last week should be investigated as a hate crime.

DarQuan Jones, 22, was reportedly attacked by white men after he arrived at his girlfriend’s townhouse at 3 a.m. early Saturday and she didn’t answer the door, Kameron Middlebrooks, president of the Des Moines NAACP chapter, told NBC News

Two white men allegedly accused Jones of burglary and choked him and punched him in the face. Jones at first attempted to defend himself before running to a nearby field before the men caught up, dragged him to a creek and dunked his head underwater, Middlebrooks told the network. 

Two women from a nearby apartment complex came out after hearing the struggle, and Jones allegedly ran through the creek and called the police.

The attackers were described as white men in their 30s who were possibly drunk or high.

Middlebrook said in a statement to The Hill that the NAACP stands “in solidarity with the family” and others who “want justice for Quan.”

“After speaking with Quan, his family, and the witnesses that have come forward, if the story is as they state it is then what occurred yesterday should be seen as nothing less than a hate crime,” Middlebrook said.

“This young man, who is also an essential worker, was brutally beaten, called a n—–, called a monkey, and had his life nearly taken,” he continued. “If it wasn’t for two witnesses that came to his aid, we could have been working with the family on funeral arrangements.”

Jones told reporters Tuesday that he endured a broken arm, a broken nose and five broken bones in his face. 

Des Moines Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Parizek confirmed to NBC News that Jones and witnesses reported that at least one of the men was using racial slurs. He told the network that the “racist nature of at least one of the attackers is obvious” but said officers were still gathering evidence to determine a motive.

Parizek told the Des Moines Register that police aren’t calling the assault racially motivated until the suspects and their motives are identified.

Updated: 3:17 p.m.

Tags Assault Crime DarQuan Jones Des Moines Hate crime Iowa NAACP Race

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