Two white brothers in Florida were sentenced Wednesday on a hate crimes case for attacking a Black shopper at a Family Dollar. Roy Lashley, 56, and Robert Lashley, 52, repeatedly called the victim the n-word, said federal prosecutors for the Middle District of Florida.
“If we don’t do anything about them, they will take over the world,” Roy told deputies during his arrest, according to court papers. He kept using racial slurs on the scene and asserted authorities were only arresting him because he was white, authorities said.
He will now spend five years in prison. Robert Lashley was sentenced to three years behind bars.
The brothers traveled to a Family Dollar in Citrus Springs on Nov. 17, 2021, according to documents. Roy opened the store door as the victim, identified in papers as D.B., was leaving. He accused the man of pushing him, but authorities said no surveillance footage showed D.B. engaging in physical contact, let alone pushing.
Defendant Roy Lashley entered and asked defendant Robert Lashley whether he saw “that big Black n—er [D.B.]?” Defendant Roy Lashley joined defendant Robert Lashley at the cash register. There, defendant Roy Lashley asked the clerk if she saw D.B. push him as he walked through the door. The clerk replied “no,” prompting defendant Roy Lashley to again say that D.B. pushed him and that, “that n—er [D.B.] needs to be taught a lesson.” Surveillance video does not show D.B. push or otherwise contact defendant Roy Lashley as they passed one another. The clerk and store manager admonished co-defendant Robert and Roy Lashley for using racial slurs inside the store. In response, co-defendant Roy and Robert Lashley turned to exit the store, during which defendant Roy Lashley told defendant Robert Lashley that “[they were] going to go get that n—er [D.B.].”
The brothers followed D.B. into the parking lot. Robert punched him “numerous times,” and Roy grabbed an axe handle from his own truck to strike the man, hitting him multiple times. D.B. shielded himself with his arms and fought back in self-defense, but he “sustained injuries to his face and legs, including pain and a laceration to the inside of his mouth,” documents stated.
Robert Lashley’s attorney Douglas Stamm declined to comment when Law&Crime reached out over email.
“Driven by bigotry and hate, the defendants brutally assaulted a Black man for no other reason than his race,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Racially-motivated violence is abhorrent, unlawful and has no place in America today. Aggressive prosecution of hate crimes is a top priority for the Civil Rights Division, and these sentences should send a message to others who would carry out similar acts of violence that they will be brought to justice.”
“The brutal attack against the victim in this case was motivated by hate and bigotry,” said U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg for the Middle District of Florida. “Because of the great determination and cooperation between our federal and local law enforcement partners, we were able to bring these callous criminals to justice.”
“Civil rights investigations are at the heart of what we do at the FBI,” Special Agent in Charge Sherri E. Onks of the FBI Jacksonville Field Office. “Hate crimes are not only an attack on the victim; they are meant to threaten and intimidate an entire community. Because of their wide-ranging impact, investigating hate crimes is among the FBI’s highest priorities, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to seek justice for victims and their communities.”
Note: We added that Robert Lashley’s attorney declined to comment.
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