Gordon has now been charged with a hate crime as the Rhode Island Attorney General takes over the prosecution of the case.
Black Lives Matter Rhode Island, shortly after a meeting with Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha, held a rally outside the home of Richard Gordon, who is being charged with the crimes of simple assault and disorderly conduct for his racially motivated attack against his neighbor, Bahram Pahlavi, in Barrington. Ahead of the protest the Attorney General announced that his office would be taking over the prosecution of the case and that they were pursuing the matter as a hate crime, which means that if Gordon is convicted, additional penalties can be added to his sentence.
The incident, from August 3, involved Richard Gordon apparently attacking Bahram Pahlavii and calling him the n-word as Pahlavi attempted to place a property marker on his own lawn. Gordon then proceeded to allegedly file a false report with the Barrington Police Department, accusing Pahlavi of attacking him. Fortunately much of the attack and subsequent discussion was captured on video by Pahlavi’s spouse, Iman Ali Pahlavi, who then posted it on Facebook. You can see those videos here:
The event on Tuesday was entirely peaceful, and watched over carefully by members of the Barrington and Rhode Island State Police. It was an unusual event for this upscale community, to have protesters in their neighborhood, confronting racism. The police carefully prevented people from accessing private roads or stepping on private property. They even blocked off a public street, making protesters and media park their cars a short distance away and walk to the home of the alleged perpetrator.
“You got to understand that white supremacy – that’s been around for hundreds of years – we must dissect it,” said Gary Dantzler, Director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island. “Because it takes a lot of time and effort to understand what’s been done systemically… to Black Americans.
“This man got assaulted. Thank God they had a video,” continued Dantzler. The hate crime charge “probably would have never happened if there wasn’t a video.”
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“I found the whole thing offensive,” said Mark Fisher, Senior Director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island, describing the incident. “The behavior, the entitlement, the privilege… the lying on the police report trying to make the victim the perpetrator. The whole thing was just despicable to me.”
Gary Dantzler led a moment of silence before marching up the street to the home of the alleged perpetrator.
There was a community led rally against the hate crime on Sunday.