A hate crime will not be filed against Alan Dale Covington, 50, who beat a Mexican man and his son with a 5-foot metal pole.
Due to a technicality in the law, Covington will face four felony charges of aggravated assault and weapons charges but no hate crime. This is due to the state laws in Utah even though he repeatedly shouted "I hate Mexicans. I'm here to kill someone" and "I'm here to kill a Mexican" during the attack on Jose Lopez, 51, and his son Luis, 18.
Covington allegedly attacked the two men inside the tire shop the senior Lopez has owned for four years after immigrating to the United States from Mexico. Lopez's daughter told the Salt Lake Tribune:
"My family feels targeted. They're very shaken up. It makes my blood boil. What do they want next? Do they want him to kill someone to see that he's dangerous?"
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill explained there would not be charges of a hate crime to BuzzFeed, It is due to the law in Utah which only allows for upgrading certain misdemeanors to hate crimes.
Covington was charged with multiple felonies.
"I as a state prosecutor cannot give them a measure of justice proportionate to the injury that they're feeling, and that truly is an injustice. It basically leaves us without any kind of hate crime statutory framework. It's a farce is what it is"
He went on to say he was disappointed in Utah lawmakers:
"They have one on the books and we pat ourselves on the back. It's an absolute abdication of responsibility by my legislature given the gravity of these offenses and the collateral impact it has on the rest of the community."
Although Jose Lopez escaped with lacerations on his arm and bruising to his back, his teenage son underwent a three-hour surgery for a massive blow to the head which required Luis to receive a titanium plate on the right side of his shattered face.
Utah has not prosecuted a hate crime in 20 years.
Meanwhile it will be a long recovery for Luis. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the family pay for medical bills.
People are outraged this cannot be considered a hate crime.
@kazweida If this isn’t a hate crime I don’t know what is— Eloise and Phoebe,MS (@Eloise and Phoebe,MS) 1543635928.0
@kazweida I am praying for this young man. And I am sick of this brutality.— Ellen Auchter (@Ellen Auchter) 1543630895.0
@kazweida This is just wrong. Must stop.— Bob Sylvia 🥋 (@Bob Sylvia 🥋) 1543635209.0
@kazweida @rrjr724 May God rapidly heal this young man. Heartbreaking !— ~ Ray Of Light~ (@~ Ray Of Light~) 1543632608.0
@kazweida @coleyworld 😢😡 This is someone's child. EVERYONE decent human being should stand against hate, racism & p… https://t.co/cv3liFX1bG— Waithira M. Protano (@Waithira M. Protano) 1543670633.0
@kazweida It has to be handled as a hate crime.— Leo O'Landry-Au'LeGros 🇨🇦 (@Leo O'Landry-Au'LeGros 🇨🇦) 1543627160.0
@kazweida @fabucat As a society, we’ve learned absolutely nothing from past pogroms, roundups, genocides or Holocau… https://t.co/BX01Wp65Ou— Moishe's Mom (@Moishe's Mom) 1543634788.0
@kazweida This is sad that we live in a world where people do things like this. Can’t even exists without someone h… https://t.co/uZbEA21iFm— Jay 🥀 (@Jay 🥀) 1543713873.0
@kazweida Couldn't agree with you more!! This unprovoked violence has to stop no matter who is doing it.… https://t.co/WiYUbkHjWs— Sunida E (@Sunida E) 1543627727.0
@kazweida That’s a hate crime. He went in their business with no business in mind, but to brutally attack with a weapon?— KZR (@KZR) 1543702591.0
@kazweida Just so sad to see these stories of angry racists taking violent actions on their hateful beliefs. Glad t… https://t.co/HN59A6OqEt— Plant Based (@Plant Based) 1543636960.0
@kazweida @PamelaCohen02 Yes please hold them responsible.— Rainetta Dotson (@Rainetta Dotson) 1543757486.0
No word whether Utah is looking at changing their hate crime laws to allow them to be used.