We’re not sure what kind of monster you have to be to terrorize a child, especially at something as innocent and joyful as a birthday party, but a racist couple in Georgia is now playing dearly for what they did.
On July 25, 2015, a Georgia couple, 26-year old, Jose Ismael Torres and 25-year old, Kayla Rae Norto who are both members of the white supremacist organization “Respect the Flag” decided it was a good idea to storm a Black child’s eighth birthday party. The couple along with about ten others waved Confederate flags, brandished shotguns and screamed obscenities including the N-word at the group of partygoers.
After shouting, “kill y’all n*****s,” at the birthday party, the couple and their group drove to a nearby Wal-Mart where they continued to terrorize others. Yesterday, the couple who were the final two of fifteen to be charged with their hate crimes were sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison.
Judge William McClain who presided over the case was clear in saying, “Their actions were motivated by racial hatred.”
Torres was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 13 years served while Norto was sentenced to 15 years in prison with 6 years served.
Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner released a statement after the sentencing saying, “Many people tried to make the case about simply flying the Confederate Battle Flag. his case was about a group of people riding around our community, drinking alcohol, harassing and intimidating our citizens because of the color of their skin.”
During their sentencing, both Norto and Torres broke down weeping. Norto apologized for her actions saying, “I want you all to know that is not me. That is not me, that is not him. I would never walk up to you and say those words to you. I’m so sorry that happened to you. I am so sorry.”
Hyesha Bryant, one of the women who was in attendance at the party, responded by saying, “What you said affected my life. It affected my children’s lives.”
Ultimately, Bryant spoke to Norto mother to mother saying, “I forgive you, I forgive all of you.”
Though this incident happened prior to Trump’s election, it’s clear already that the hateful rhetoric behind his campaign and administration is already sparking an uptick of racially motivated crimes.