(ATLANTA, GA, 5/9/2018) — The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) today called for prosecutors to seek the cancellation of bond and tougher criminal charges against a man who was arrested on Monday and charged with battery after he allegedly attacked Sonia King, a Muslim woman who delivered food to his home for DoorDash.
CAIR-Georgia has agreed to represent King, who used her keyring to fight off Rick Painter as he reportedly strangled her with her own religious head scarf. Painter, who has a criminal record and was described by one of his neighbors as a “racist,” declared himself to be “Jesus” during the attack.
“We call on law enforcement authorities to pursue tougher charges against Ronald Painter, who did not simply commit battery. He’s a six-foot-tall man who allegedly tried to strangle a five-foot-tall woman to death with her own religious attire,” said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-Georgia. “If Ms. King hadn’t fought back, she might not be alive today.”
CAIR-Georgia also called on prosecutors to seek the cancellation of Painter’s bond, and to investigate the attack as a potential hate crime. Painter has been assigned a $5,000 bond, which means he could likely go free after paying only ten percent, $500.
“Mr. Painter poses a clear and present danger to the public,” Mitchell said. “The courts must not allow him to go free and terrorize other innocent people while he awaits trial. He should stay in jail until the end of his case.”
Law enforcement should also determine whether Painter’s violence was in any way triggered by anti-Muslim bias, given the victim’s religious identity, Painter’s reputation in the neighborhood as a “racist,” and his use of religious language during the attack, Mitchell said.
“If a person of color declared himself to be a Muslim religious figure and then tried to strangle a nun with her own hair scarf, no one would automatically dismiss that man as mentally ill, or give him the chance to go free pending trial,” Mitchell said.
CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR’s Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
For a quick download of CAIR’s civil rights app, click here: http://www.cair.com/app
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misiÃ³n de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensiÃ³n del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.
CONTACT: Edward Ahmed Mitchell, CAIR-Georgia Executive Director, 404-285-9530, email@example.com