Officials condemn swastika branding incident in New Mexico
Officials from Farmington, New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation met to condemn the actions of three men who are accused of branding a mentally challenged Navajo man with a swastika.

Local and tribal officials said they will closely follow the case. "I would expect aggressive prosecution of these individuals and I would expect severe punishment," said Mayor Tommy Roberts, The Farmington Daily Times reported.

"We will be very vigilant to see that these authorities do pursue the case aggressively and to render those charges that would be appropriate to respond to the severity of the case," sad Duane "Chili" Yazzie, the chairman of the Navajo Nation Human Rights Commission, the paper reported.

Jesse Sanford, 24, William Hatch, 28, and Paul Beebe, 26, have been charged with first-degree felony kidnapping, second-degree felony conspiracy to commit kidnapping, third-degree felony aggravated battery causing great bodily harm and fourth-degree felony conspiracy to commit aggravated battery Beebe also faces fourth-degree felony tampering with evidence.

The men are believed to be associated with white supremacist groups. In addition to branding a swastika on the 22-year-old victim and shaving a swastika into the back of his head, the men allegedly wrote "White Power" on the victim's body.

Get the Story:
Officials join to denounce hate crime (The Farmington Daily Times 5/19)

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