Family’s attorney: ‘Now it’s time to act’ after 11-year-old Kansas girl hospitalized in alleged hate crime


OLATHE, Kan. (NewsNation) — A 12-year-old boy allegedly used racial slurs then took a metal pipe and hit a 11-year-old girl in the face, Kansas officials said.

Eleven-year-old Nevaeh Thomas is in the hospital after she was attacked with a metal pipe by a 12-year-old boy during a play date on Friday, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said.

Nevaeh’s mom said the boy walked up to her while playing and started calling her racial slurs. She responded with ‘my black is beautiful.’

That’s when Nevaeh said the boy hit her in the face with a pipe.

“It’s time to change,” family attorney, LaRonna Lassiter-Saunders said. “Change yourself, hold your family, your neighbors, your friends accountable.”

The boy is charged with aggravated battery and is now on house arrest. Howe said the next step is focusing on correcting the boy’s behavior.

“Probably one of the chief things that the court wants to do is get an evaluation to determine what are the underlying factors that are causing this behavior,” Howe said.

The district attorney can’t talk about details in this boy’s case because he’s a minor. But Howe says he sees a trend in more kids acting out right now.

“One of the things that we have seen through this whole shut down and COVID-19 is kids have been acting out,” Howe said. “Luckily, most of the behavior is pretty minor behavior.”

Thomas’ attorney, LaRonna Lassiter-Saunders wants the courts to be fair.

“That’s not for us to decide his intention behind it. All we know is that he used racial slurs, he hit this little girl,” Lassiter-Saunders said. “I do want to say to the public and America in general…we’ve done a lot of talking. Now it’s time to act.”

NewsNation affiliate WDAF contributed tot his report.

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