Vauhxx Booker, who is Black, recounted his allegations on Facebook in a post that has since gone viral.
“We need to immediately concentrate on bringing these individuals to justice to send a message in our community that hate will not be tolerated,” he told the news site.
According to Booker, on the evening of July 4 he was hanging out with friends at Lake Monroe when he was attacked by a group of five White men with Confederate flags, who allegedly threatened to lynch him. The men accused Booker and his group of trespassing on private property.
“Two of them jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground. I tussled with the two and another one joined in, then two more. The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down,” Booker wrote in his Facebook post. “They held me pinned and continued beating me for several minutes seemingly become more and more enraged as they kept trying to seriously injure me and failing. At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck. I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.”
The violence attracted more people who tried to intervene, even as his attackers allegedly threatened to break his arms, and someone called out to “get a noose, amongst some other choice slurs,” Booker wrote in the post.
“With me still pinned underneath them they kept telling onlookers to leave the, ‘boy’ and that everyone else (all white) could go. Folks then started filming the confrontation and shouting that they wouldn’t leave me to be killed,” he added.
Booker posted some videos from the incident, where someone behind the camera could be heard pleading with the alleged attackers to “let him go,” even as a White man in a red shirt could be seen holding Booker against a tree.
Another video shows another man calling someone behind the camera a “nappy-headed bitch.”
Booker said that he is okay, but was diagnosed with a minor concussion, some abrasions, bruising and some ripped-out-hair patches.
Now, he is just trying to get justice for his case, claiming that when the DNR officials arrived, they first went to speak with the attackers, and despite multiple witnesses claiming that the alleged assailants yelled “White power” along with other racist remarks and threatened his life, refused to arrest anyone.
“Instead the officers stated they contacted the Prosecutor’s office who relayed there was no immediate need to arrest anyone, and that the officers would simply file a report. To reiterate, this attack occurred on public land and was recorded by numerous individuals who made statements against the attackers for assaulting them and me,” Booker wrote. “I’m gravely concerned that if any other people of color who were to cross their path they could be killed.”
A news release from the DNR said that investigations are underway.
“The Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Law Enforcement Division is working diligently with the Monroe County Prosecutor’s Office to ensure a lawful resolution,” the statement said, according to the Indy Star. “This matter remains under investigation and no further information will be released at this time.”
The mayor of Bloomington, John Hamilton, released a statement as things came to light, expressing his “outrage and grief” over the “racially motivated incident,” as well as another incident involving the racial profiling of a Black Bloomington resident.
“These separate incidents exemplify the persistence of racism and bias in our country and our own community. They deserve nothing less than our collective condemnation. They require that we come together as a whole, and recognize that racism damages all of us, not just our residents of color. We deserve better, and we must make it happen,” the statement added. “Videos of the events remind us of the importance of witnesses and witnessing.”