Bond Set, FBI Investigating Possible Hate Crime Charge for Akron Proud Boys Member Who Punched Black Woman While Using Racial Slur

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click to enlarge Andrew Walls was arraigned this morning - Twitter screengrab
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Andrew Walls was arraigned this morning

An Akron municipal judge this morning set a $25,000 bond for Andrew Walls, the Proud Boys member who was videoptaped punching a Black woman over the weekend while using racial slurs.

Walls was arrested and charged with assault and handling a weapon while intoxicated after a clip of the incident circulated on Sunday and the victim filed a police report.

Akron police chief Steve Mylett said the department is working with the FBI to determine if the assault was a hate crime.

Walls, in the video, can be heard saying “What’s up? N***** bitch, shut your mouth," before punching her.

“I am deeply concerned with, what clearly appears to be, a racially motivated assault in our City this past weekend,” Mylett said. “Hate has no place in our beloved city. We will use every resource at our disposal to bring anyone who engages in racially motivated or bias-based crimes to justice. We stand united with the victim of this heinous assault and her family to ensure justice is served.”

Advocacy groups have called for a federal hate crime charge.

"Violence against women, first of all, was cowardly. Period. Violence in this case is a hate crime, period. We cannot accept it, we won't accept it. It cannot keep going on like this," Judi Hill, President of the Akron NAACP, said in a statement. "We have to let people know that this isn't acceptable, not just in Akron, but anywhere."

Walls will next appear in court on March 11 for a pretrial hearing.
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