New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu called on state police Tuesday to join an investigation against a group of teenagers that allegedly tried to hang a biracial boy after hurling racial slurs at him.
The 8-year-old’s grandmother, Lorrie Slattery, told police he was playing in a backyard with a pair of teenagers when they started making fun of his race and tied a rope around his neck before pushing him off table, the Associated Press reported. Local police are already conducting a hate crime investigation into the incident, which left the boy in the hospital with rope burns on his neck.
“On my instruction, the Attorney General’s office sent a team to Claremont to provide assistance,” the Republican governor said in a statement. “It is my expectation that local and state authorities will investigate appropriately and I’ve asked for regular updates on how things are proceeding. Hatred and bigotry will not be tolerated in New Hampshire.”
Police have not released any information regarding the investigation beyond that the victim and the two alleged perpetrators are all minors.
The boy reportedly swung three times while the rope was around his neck before he was able to remove it himself, according to CBS News. Neither of the other boys moved to assist him.
“One boy said … ‘Let’s do this,’ and then pushed him off the picnic table and hung him,” Slattery told reporters.
Police initially declined to investigate the issue, telling the parents that the boy’s injuries were an accident. It was only last week, when Slattery and the boy’s mother posted pictures and their version of events on Facebook, that police opened an inquiry, the Boston Globe reported.
The ongoing inquiry garnered enough information to become a hate crime investigation Tuesday.
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