Editorial: Hate crime against Navajo sends message

"John Winer, 19, of Farmington, was one of three local young men, all white, accused of acting with hatred when they severely beat 46-year-old William Blackie, a Navajo, last summer near the Glade Run Recreation Area off Pinon Hills Boulevard in north Farmington.

Winer, accused of being the ringleader in the senseless crime, was convicted in the case, and District Judge Thomas Hynes sentenced him earlier this week.

Winer admitted to acting out of hate in the crime, and because of that additional aspect in an already inexcusable act, an additional year was tacked on to the six years Hynes gave him for the beating itself.

There is no excuse to practice hate in this town, and that is not what most of the respectable residents of Farmington are striving to achieve in this community.

One of the character witnesses defending Winer, his father, suggested the case was influenced by politics.

Ask Mr. Blackie if he feels his beating felt political.

Ask those in Farmington embarrassed by the black eye this case gave the community if they feel it was political.

Ask Navajo neighbors who work and shop and seek entertainment here if they feel the case was political."

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Editorial: Hate-crime case should send a strong message (The Farmington Daily Times 4/19)