A suspect arrested for allegedly punching the organizer of a “free speech” rally in San Francisco will face an assault charge, prosecutors decided Tuesday.
Adroa Anderson, 35, was arrested Sunday in Oakland in connection with an attack a day earlier that knocked out the two front teeth of rally organizer Philip Anderson, 25.
Videos from the rally showed protesters shoving police barricades and throwing objects at right-wing demonstrators during the event.
The San Francisco Police Department initially booked Adroa Anderson on suspicion of mayhem with a hate crime enhancement.
Police explained the rationale for the hate crime enhancement in a statement Tuesday.
“Video and audio evidence indicate that a racial obscenity, consistent with the victim’s ethnicity, was said by the suspect during the assault,” police said.
A person can be heard shouting the N-word in video of the punch.
Philip Anderson, a free speech rally leader, punched by counter protester and pushed back into barricaded area at UN Plaza in SF. Rally has not started yet. #ProudBoys #SanFrancisco pic.twitter.com/NcNopIyDAX
— Denis Ivan Perez (@dpi_19) October 17, 2020
However, the District Attorney’s Office is not planning to file a hate crime enhancement against the suspect.
Under California law, a hate crime is defined as a criminal act committed because of the disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation of the victim.
Alex Bastian, a spokesperson for District Attorney Chesa Boudin, said the crime in this case “does not appear to have been committed because of” one of those protected characteristics.
Adroa Anderson, a resident of Watsonville, does not currently appear to be in custody, jail records show.
Attempts to locate an attorney for Adroa Anderson for comment were not immediately successful.