Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Challenges. Discussion »
FRESNO - Patty Dawson will have to wait until February 6 for the formal arraignment of Jennifer Devette Fraser, 27, who is accused of attacking her in broad daylight last June 14.
Patty Dawson, her Parents and Husband Dee
Fraser has been 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.
Supporters, including her husband, parents and members of the Justice for Patty Dawson were on hand at the Superior Court in Fresno on Monday. The court deliberations were continued to the later date because of attorney scheduling problems.
Even with the continuation, a hand-held sign sums up the determination of Dawson's most ardent supporters: "Justice for Patty" - Stop KKK - Skinheads Beating Indigenous Women!
Dawson, 43, is a Navajo and San Carlos Apache nurse and mother, who was brutally beaten allegedly by Fraser. Two male accomplices repeatedly beat Dawson while she was on her way home from dropping her uncle off at the Fresno train station.
Eyewitnesses informed the police they saw a Caucasian woman and two men with swastika tattoos and shaved heads kick and further beat Dawson.
Only Fraser has been charged. No other arrests have been made. Members of the Justice for Patty Dawson want to see federal hate crimes charges brought against her assaulters.
"It is sad to see this happening to Patty and rest of the Dawson family. These are really good people and it is sad that the system cannot protect them either while they are simply trying to live or when the legal system gets involved,"
states Ron Andrade, director of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission.
"The hate crime laws were passed to protect all people and I never saw anything in the law that said 'except for Indians'".
“Violence against women is a major problem for Native women wherever they are,”
according to a fact sheet distributed by the National Congress of American Indians.
The fact sheet states further: " the rate of aggravated assault among American Indians and Alaska Natives is roughly twice that of the country as a whole (600.2 per 100,000 versus 323.6 per 100,000)."
posted January 24, 2012 11:50 am est
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