2 get probation for hate crimes during Imperial Beach BLM protest

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. (CNS) – Two men who pleaded guilty to attacking participants at a Black Lives Matter protest in Imperial Beach last summer and punching a Black journalist covering the event were sentenced Monday to probation terms.

Jeffrey Brooks, 39, and Henry Brooks Jr., 33, both admitted hate crime allegations in connection with the June 7 attacks on Marcus Boyd and a group of protesters.

Prosecutors accused the men of “verbally and physically antagonizing” participants in the march at the Imperial Beach Pier Plaza.

Henry Brooks Jr. threw eggs at the demonstrators and the older defendant sucker-punched Boyd in the head as he was recording the protest, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the ground, according to the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

In addition to the hate crime allegations, Jeffrey Brooks pleaded guilty to a felony battery county and Henry Brooks pleaded guilty to a felony assault count.

At Monday afternoon’s sentencing hearing, Deputy District Attorney Leonard Trinh said input from Boyd figured largely against pursuing custodial sentences.

“(Boyd) exhibited a lot more sympathy for these defendants than they probably deserve,” said Trinh, who also noted Boyd “expressed a very strong interest in conditions that would help them address whatever issues that led up to this act.”

Boyd addressed the court briefly to reiterate he would prefer not imposing prison terms.

“Prison has a hard time proving that it’s helped anyone. I think counseling, if it helps people understand not to hurt people, it would be definitely used in this case,” Boyd said.

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