A Black man who claims he was assaulted by white men now faces charges of assaulting his attackers
A black activist is facing charges in connection to a July 4, 2020 trespassing altercation between himself and a group of white men.
Vauhxx Booker made headlines last year after posting multiple videos to social media depicting him pinned between a tree and a white man during a tense trespassing altercation on July 4, 2020.
Booker claims the group of white men, who owned the property he was trespassing on, followed him and his friends before confronting them. The altercation quickly turned nasty with both sides yelling at each other. One of the men is heard calling Booker, who is black, a “nappy-headed b–ch.” Two of the men involved were charged with assault against Booker.
He claims they dragged him, pinned his body against a tree, pounded on his head, and ripped out some of his hair. Video from the incident shows Booker on all fours, wedged between the tree and one of the men. However, the dragging of Booker and the head pounding and hair ripping are not shown in any of the videos Booker posted.
Booker said he heard one of the men yell, “We’re going to break his arms.” He claims another man shouted, “Get a noose!” However, that is also not heard on any of the videos booker posted to his Facebook page.
The man in the red tank top, identified as Sean Purdy told the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, which responded to the incident, that he pushed Booker who then attacked Purdy and punched him in the face. The Department at the time recommended charges be brought against all parties involved.
In one of the three short clips Booker chose to post of the incident on his Facebook page, a shirtless man is heard yelling at Booker and his group of friends, “You invaded us! We were having a great time until you guys invaded us! You stupid f—ing liberal f–ks!”
Last week, Sonia Leerkamp, the special prosecutor for Monroe County, Indiana, filed charges of felony assault and misdemeanor trespassing against Booker for the same incident. Both charges are similar to those recommended to be brought against Booker by the IDNR.
Booker’s attorney claims that the prosecutor is retaliating against his client for not engaging in a mediated solution between him and the men arrested in his assault. Booker said he declined to do so because he would have to sign a confidentiality agreement and publicly forgive the men, whose charges would then be dropped.
“For the entire year, the special prosecutor has pressured and bullied me at every turn that if I didn’t engage with the restorative justice, if I didn’t let charges be dismissed, that she would charge me,” Booker said. “It wasn’t out of any new evidence or any shocking revelations. It was simply that, once again, a Black person telling a White person no — and they were going to punish me.”
In a statement to the Washington Post, Leerkamp said, “Unlike Mr. Booker, I am ethically restrained from commenting upon the evidence prior to its presentation at trial. I am doing my best to apply the law to the facts available to me and to follow the principle that we are a nation of laws, not men.”