Men in court over swastika-branding incident in New Mexico

Three New Mexico men were arraigned in court for allegedly branding a swastika into the arm of a mentally challenged man from the Navajo Nation..

Jesse Sanford, 24, William Hatch, 28, and Paul Beebe, 26, are believed to be associated with the white supremacy movement. In addition to branding the swastika on the 22-year-old victim and shaving a swastika on the back of his head, they are accused of writing "White Power" on his body.

The San Juan County District Attorney's Office is pursuing hate crimes charges against the men. This is the third hate crime incident in Farmington in recent years.

"Unfortunately these things happen and when they do happen, they re-aggravate the racial relations between our two peoples," Duane "Chili" Yazzie, the chairman of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, told The Farmington Daily Times. "It leads one to wonder if ever we will achieve that place of where there is respect in the community and consideration of human people, of human kind in all regard."

The FBI is also investigating.

Get the Story:
Three men charged for hate crime (The Farmington Daily Times 5/11)
Racist Items Found in Apartment (The Albuquerque Journal 5/11)
DA seeking hate crime in swastika case (KRQE-TV 5/10)

Related Stories:
Men accused of branding swastika on Navajo Nation victim (5/10)