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Relative of murdered black teen calls for white Kansas teen to face federal hate crime charges

A family member of a murdered 14-year-old Black boy is calling for a white Kansas teen to be tried on a federal hate crime charge in the shooting death.

ByThe Associated Press

September 16, 2023, 7:03 p.m.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — A parent of a murdered Black 14-year-old is calling for a white Kansas teenager to be tried on federal hate crime charges in the shooting death, noting recent testimony of threats of racial slurs.

Michael Berry, a cousin of Kamarjay Shaw, called for federal involvement in a letter to Kansas U.S. Attorney Kate Brubacher, the Lawrence Journal-World reported.

Derrick Del Reed was 17 when Shaw was killed in March, but he is charged with first-degree murder as an adult. The trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 27 and the man, now 18, is jailed on $500,000 bail.

During the preliminary hearing in August, a detective testified that Reed used threatening racial slurs in Snapchat messages sent the morning of the shooting. Reed said in the messages that he was tired of fighting with Shaw and his friends and was ready to start shooting, the detective testified.

The hearing ended when the judge found enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.

Reed’s defense attorney did not immediately respond to a telephone message from The Associated Press on Saturday inquiring about the request.

The defense had previously attempted to gain immunity from prosecution by claiming self-defense, but this was refused. Testimony showed the shooting happened after a teenage girl called one of the boys who hung out with Shaw via Snapchat and told him to come out because Reed wanted to fight him.

Shaw was at least half a field away from Reed’s front door when gunfire rang out, testimony showed.

ABC News

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