New details have emerged casting further doubt on prominent social justice activist Shaun King’s claim that he was the victim of a race-based hate crime when he was a high school student in Kentucky in 1995.
Following up on The Daily Caller’s report last month, The Blaze reports that witness statements included in a police report for the March 1, 1995 incident show that a student who got into a fight and beat up King claimed he did so after King threatened his ex-girlfriend over a broken CD.
Those details are at stark odds with King’s repeated claims that he was the victim of a brutal attack in which he was kicked with steel-toed boots by a large group of “rednecks.”
King, who rose to prominence as an activist against police brutality following the shooting death of Michael Brown, has maintained during interviews and in a recent self-help book that the attack left him clinging to life, bloodied and with a broken back and ribs. He also said he had to miss 18 months of school and that his attack was the first registered hate crime ever in Kentucky.
But the police report and the detective who investigated the case cast doubt on those claims, too. The report — which characterized King’s injuries as “minor” — said that he only had an abrasion on his cheek and was complaining about some pain in his back and ribs.
King’s mother drove him to the hospital following the incident, the police report states.
Keith Broughton, who was then a detective with the Versailles Police Department, told TheDC last month that there was no evidence that King was the target of a hate crime. Nor was he attacked by a group, according to Broughton, who said that statements made to police at the time indicated that the incident was a one-on-one fight.
The documents obtained by The Blaze include those statements from witnesses, as well as the suspect and his ex-girlfriend.
“The reason I hit Shawn [sic] is because he pushed my x-girlfriend up against the wall yesterday and threatened to break her neck over $8 dollars she owed him and I care for her and she was scared yesterday because she thought he was going to hurt her and I didn’t want to see her get hurt,” the suspect told police. “I know it was wrong but I couldn’t stand him threatening a girl like that.”
According to The Blaze, the suspect’s ex-girlfriend claimed that King had confronted her over an incident which had occurred two weeks before in which she accidentally knocked over his backpack and broke a CD. She said King initially said that the breakage was accidental but that he confronted her and threatened her the day before the fight.
Other witnesses told police that the incident was a one-on-one fight between King and the other student, who was sent home from school with one of his parents.
In addition, there is no evidence to support King’s claim that the incident was ever registered as a hate crime. The FBI, which collects such data, told both TheDC and The Blaze that no records exist indicating the incident was ever reported as a hate attack.
King did not respond to The Blaze’s request for comment. When reached by TheDC last month, he declined to comment, saying only that “The Daily Caller, in my opinion, is hateful and has nothing but bad intentions with this piece from my childhood over 20 years ago.”
“You should run your piece as is and let it stand on its own merit man if you feel good about it,” he said at the time.
Before becoming a prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement, King ran a church in Atlanta with his wife. He has also founded several online fundraising companies. He was recently hired as a social justice blogger by the left-wing website, Daily Kos. In addition to that, he helped start a group called Justice Together, which aims to build a nationwide coalition to fight police brutality.
King is on the group’s board of directors along with Black Lives Matter protester Deray McKesson, Trayvon Martin family attorney Benjamin Crump and journalist Glenn Greenwald.