Even if there were only three people who did most of the beating of Matthew Owens the others who were there and encouraged it are still morally responsible. To watch a violent crime and do nothing or to egg it on shows a moral cowardice or a participation in the event. I would think charges for the entire group are in order. So far there has only been one arrest.
Mobile police today said that there were 3 “active participants” in the Saturday night beating of Matthew Owens on Delmar Drive. The number includes Terry Rawls, who was arrested today on a 1st-degree assault charge in connection with the case, Deputy Chief Lester Hargrove said.
Meanwhile, Mobile Mayor Sam Jones said that the city has reached out to the FBI and U.S. Attorney Kenyen Brown to conduct their own investigation into the incident, including the possibility that the beating was a hate crime as defined under federal law.
Numerous media reports have said that at least one person reported hearing references made to the Trayvon Martin case in Sanford, Fla., in which a community watch officer killed an unarmed black teenager in a gated community.
“So far that is an uncorroborated report,” Hargrove said. “This involved two neighbors who lived on the same street who’d had problems in the past and who got into a fight over kids playing basketball.
“It is our understanding that the person who made the claim about the Trayvon case was not even on the scene Saturday night.”
Jones said, “We do not want to let this concern our city’s reputation.” However, he also said that if federal investigators do uncover any hate crime evidence, that it would be up to them to press forward with charges, “because it is their law.”
Rawls, who lists an address on Delmar Drive, remained this evening in Mobile County Metro Jail without bail.