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with Niece Sadie
FRESNO - Over two dozen American Indians gathered on Sunday to drum, sing and pray to show their support of Patty Dawson, Navajo/San Carlos Apache, on the day before she goes to court to seek justice against a woman charged with beating her last June 14 in broad daylight.
On that day, Patty Dawson, who is 43 year old nurse and mother of two young adults, had put in a long shift. After working she took an uncle to the train station in Fresno. On her way home, while in the town of Clovis, her car was rammed from behind by another car.
She attempted to ignore the car, but the driver tried to force Dawson into oncoming traffic by driving in the right shoulder of the roadway. Dawson attempted to drive to a nearby gas station. On her way there, while stopped at a red light, a burly woman with tattoos on her hands, arms and neck walked up to Dawson's car and spit on her. Then the woman hit Dawson so hard she was knocked out cold.
Dawson remembers little of what happened after being knocked unconscious. She woke up in an emergency room with a concussion, broken nose and broken ribs.
“I did not do anything,”
Dawson told her sister, Cindy Dawson, who is a social worker for the Morongo Tribe.
Eyewitnesses informed the police they saw a Caucasian woman and two men with swastika tattoos and shaved heads kick and further beat Dawson.
Witnesses wrote down the license plate number to the car.
It took the police more than two months to investigate the crime and to even make an arrest. In September the woman was arrested and charged.
The woman, Jennifer Devette Fraser, 27, was charged with felonious assault under California law, which is defined as an attack on another individual which the attacker uses a dangerous weapon and seeks to cause serious harm, but stops short of attempt to kill the victim.
During the intervening time, a group was been formed called the Justice for Patty Dawson Committee. The group that has grown to some 50 individuals is outraged that the prosecutors have not been more aggressive in bringing charges against Fraser.
Members of the Justice for Patty Dawson want the US Justice Department to bring a federal hate crime charge against Fraser.Furthermore, they want to know why the two men in the car with Fraser that day have not been charged with a crime.
Under federal law, a hate crime is defined as crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability or sexual orientation of any person against a person or property motivated by an offender.
According to the several sources, Clovis is home to several white supremacist groups. The Southern Poverty Law Center web site lists four active white hate groups in Fresno County:
"From what I have been told, if you are not white in Clovis, it is not a place for you to be,"
commented Cindy Dawson to the Native News Network on Sunday night.
Today's court action is an arraignment.
posted January 23, 2012 8:10 am est
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