Two Texas Teens Face Hate-Crime Charges For Dressing in Klan Outfits and Using a Taser on A Black Classmate on Halloween

·4 min read

On Halloween night in Woodsboro, Texas, two teenagers, one white and one Hispanic, both 17-years-old, dressed in Klan outfits and harassed and tased their 16-year-old Black classmate while a White teenage girl recorded the incident on her cellphone, according to Texas Monthly.

All of the four teenagers involved in the incident go to Woodsboro High School. The two kids who were dressed in Klan outfits played on the football team with the Black classmate that they tased. The White teenager’s grandfather was a top Refugio County law enforcement official.

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Texas Monthly exclusively got video of the incident.

As the one-minute video begins, a young Black male is backpedaling through the grass and a figure in a white sheet is approaching him. The figure is wearing a droopy hood with a pointy top and holes cut out for eyes. “That’s not funny. Stop!” says the Black teenager, who is dressed in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. He has a friend with him: a thin, young white male, who wanders in and out of the frame and occasionally tries to intervene.

The action is being filmed on a cellphone by a girl, who tells the Black kid, “If you say their names, they’re gonna tase you.” Then there’s the crackle of a stun gun being fired. “Get closer,” she says, and the gun is fired again. The Black young man keeps backing away.

“Surround him,” the girl says. “Surround him!” She giggles. Now a second figure in a white sheet and hood comes into the frame. In one hand, he’s holding a small purple device. A rapid-fire crackle rings out.

“Chill!” the Black teenager yells as the hooded figure with the purple device lunges for him, making a loud “Ah!” sound.

“KKK,” the girl announces.

“That’s not funny,” says the Black teen’s friend. The hooded figures ignore him.

“Wait,” says the girl to one of the white-sheeted figures, “get on this side of him.” Then, to the other: “Get on that side.” At that point, one of the figures approaches the young Black man, reaches toward him, and zaps him. “Ooh!” he calls out, recoiling, inspiring the girl to giggle even louder.

“Chill,” the Black teenager says again, now sounding agitated. “Chill!” He turns his back on his tormentors and begins walking away as the video, obtained exclusively by Texas Monthly, ends.

Even without watching the video, the description of it will still get a lot of people incensed.

A civil attorney in Corpus Christi by the name of Matthew Manning heard about the incident from a client in Refugio, a town a few minutes away from Woodsboro, per the story from Texas Monthly.

Manning let out his frustration on the incident in a Facebook post and did not hold anything back.

​​WOODSBORO INCIDENT INVOLVING TASING OF A BLACK TEENAGER BY KIDS DRESSED AS KLANSMEN

It’s my understanding that a young black teenage boy may’ve been tased, terrorized, and menaced by three kids dressed as Klansmen in or near Woodsboro, TX on Halloween night, as he was trick or treating.

If this is true, I’m incensed. If it’s not, I’m still incensed that this is the kind of thing that’s still totally plausible in 2021.

If you know anything about this incident, please let me know. I need to know what happened if anything.

The perpetrators had better hope I don’t get on this case because if I do, there will be legal hell to pay.

Manning posted on Facebook that he was retained to represent the Black teenage boy and his family. He did not pull any punches on this post either questioning why the two boys in sheets got to play in a high school football game following the incident.

Per the report from Texas Monthly, the principal of Woodsboro released a statement, claiming that because the incident did not occur on their campus, he could not do anything to discipline the students involved.

That sounds familiar.

According to KZTV, Manning and Jeremy Coleman of the Corpus Christi NAACP Chapter held a press conference, where they called the incident a hate crime. Manning continued to let out his outrage over the incident saying it “ can’t be analyzed as kids being kids” and must be seen as a “purposeful crime with the intent to terrorize a Black person.”

Now, it looks like the two teenage boys dressed in Klan outfits will finally have to answer for their crimes.

From Texas Monthly:

Refugio’s district attorney indicted each of them on two third-degree felonies: “engaging in organized criminal activity” while committing assault on a juvenile, and tampering with evidence (they had burned their costumes). A hate-crime “enhancement” was added to the felonies, according to the indictment, because the teens “intentionally selected” their victim “primarily because of bias or prejudice against African Americans.” Both teens face sentences of two to ten years in prison if convicted. (The girl who filmed the video is considered a juvenile under Texas law, and won’t be charged in the adult justice system.)

Whether they face consequences for their alleged crimes is something The Root will be watching out for.