Alleged hate crime has parents in an uproar

By Keitha Nelson - bio | email

BAKER, LA (WAFB) - An alleged hate crime has some parents in an uproar. Five black teenagers in Baker were charged with felonies after a vicious fight broke out at a park.

Signs clearly posted throughout the playground attempt to set the tone. One of them reads, "No foul language." According to the Baker Police Department, a statement set off a series of events that led to a knock-down, drag-out fight.

"One of them referred to one of the children as a beaner," said Lt. James Broussard.

According to police, five teens stopped at the park near the Baker Municipal Building after school on Tuesday. They reportedly called a Hispanic child a derogatory name. That's when police say the mother of that child and her friend stepped in to defend the child.

Katrina Franklin, whose two daughters were among the teens arrested, claims one of the Hispanic woman spit at her 17-year-old and that led to the fight.

"They told my kids, not only my kids, all of the kids that they need to take their n-word back to Africa," said Franklin.

Franklin says she's not sure why the teens were all arrested, but the two grown women involved were not.

Lt. Broussard says that's because the ladies in this case are the victims. He says the women were knocked to the ground while being punched and kicked repeatedly. Both women even claimed to have blacked out because of the blows to their heads. Now Franklin's teens and three others face hefty charges.

"I'm really hurt and I'm scared," said Franklin. "Because they charged these kids with these crimes that you would have to actually look over your back for."

Broussard says he's certain Tuesday's fight was an isolated incident. It is not a trend police are seeing in the Baker area.

Broderick Ford and Trenisha Franklin, both 17, are charged with felony second-degree battery, hate crime, disturbing the peace and contributing to the delinquency of juveniles.

Three juveniles were also booked on hate crime, disturbing the peace and second degree battery.

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