Georgia couple get 35 years for racist terror at black child’s birthday party
In 2015,26-year old, Jose Ismael Torres and 25-year old, Kayla Rae Norton stormed into a black child’s eighth birthday party brandishing a shotgun and screaming the N-word while waving confederate flags. The Georgia couple is now being held to account for their racist rampage. On Monday, the two were found guilty and sentenced to a total of 28 years for yelling racial slurs and threatening to kill partygoers, kids included.
After tormenting the family and threatening to “kill y’all n*****s,” they drove to a nearby Wal-Mart where they continued the terror. The two, who were members of a group called “Respect the Flag,” were the last in a group of 15 people charged in the confrontation. Speaking to the court, Judge William McClain said: “Their actions were motivated by racial hatred.” Torres received 20 years, 13 of them in prison, while Norton was sentenced to 15 but will spend six years behind bars for the hate crime.
While committed in 2015, this incident is one of many foreshadowing an uptick of hate crimes across the country. You’ve seen the headlines. The uptick in vandalism of Jewish cemeteries and black churches, the increase of bold, blatantly racist rhetoric. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), since the presidential election, there has been a spike in hate crimes across the United States. Even after filtering SPLC data by occurrences specifically targeted against individuals or communities and substantiated by a news article, police report, or an original investigation, ThinkProgress showed a total of 261 hate incidents across the country.
It’s strange, but sometimes justice works. That Georgia couple knew what they did, and now they are paying full price. White racists should not be normalized, especially when it’s about our kids.