On April 12, 2005, Jeremy Alexander Rourke was beaten by a younger boy. Jeremy was in line for food after a baseball game when he teased Greg Harris, one of the players on the losing team. In response, 13-year-old Greg put down his bag, removed an aluminum baseball bat, took a sock off the bat, and said “Watch out, I’m going to hit this fool.” He struck the 15-year-old in the knee and the head, killing him.
At trial, Greg claimed that Jeremy was a habitual bully who used a racial slur, and so the beating was in self-defense. Witnesses disputed these claims, and Greg received a sentence of 12 years in juvenile detention, which was later reduced. Commenting on the sentencing, Greg’s father said “Something has to be done about this judge. This is ridiculous… Personally, we feel he’s racist.”