Jurors Convict Hialeah Man in Hate Crime Trial
Luis Gonzalez, once shot and wounded during the 1980 race riots that rocked Miami, is guilty of targeting two black men because of their race, jurors decided Thursday.
Prosecutors say Gonzalez, still seething over being shot in the back by a black man during the 1980 McDuffie riots, grew upset when he saw two young black men walking through a parking lot in the heavily Hispanic city of Hialeah.
Angered because “they looked arrogant,” Gonzalez tried to reverse his pickup truck into Andy Alexander and Travas James. Fearing for their lives, James pulled a .22-caliber pistol from his pocket and shot Gonzalez in the neck.
Prosecutors ruled the use of the gun as justified.
On Thursday, the racially mixed jury convicted Gonzalez, 51, of two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon with prejudice.