On November 19, 2010, San Bernardino officials stated that Jimmy Alfred Walker, a Barstow police officer, faces misdemeanor assault, hate crime, and disturbing the peace charges for an incident that occurred in August.
Sometime after midnight, the Hesperia Sheriff’s Department received a call from a 911 operator about a fight in progress. When sheriffs arrived at the scene, Walker was allegedly assaulting a man and a woman. Walker, who is white, also allegedly made racially insulting toward them. It is unclear what race the alleged victims were.
Walker has been placed on paid leave while police officials investigate the matter.
“An assault is an unlawful attempt, coupled with a present ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another.” (Penal Code 240.) An assault can be either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances.
Disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor that includes unlawfully fighting in a public place, or being in a public place and using offensive words that are likely to provoke a violent reaction. (P.C. section 415(a), (c).)
Under Penal Code section 422.6(a), it is a crime to threaten or intimidate on the basis of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. (P.C. section 422.55.) Hate crimes can be either misdemeanors or felonies.
If you have been accused of a hate crime, do not speak to the police except to say that you will not answer your questions and that you wish to speak to your attorney. Being charged with a hate crime is a serious allegation and can be a crime in and of itself, or if another crime was committed because of the complaining witness’s characteristics, it can be used to profoundly lengthen your sentence. Thus, it is important not to talk to police, even if you believe that you can defend or explain yourself. Police are trained to use your statements against you, so do not give them more ammunition.
For over 30 years, the Southern California criminal defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped people accused of a variety of criminal matters, including hate crimes and assaults. Call us today at (888) 280-6839 or visit us at our website at www.wklaw.com. We will be there when you call.