Couple Killed at Random? Or Hate Crime?

The story of a couple killed assigns no motive when we know one would be if the races were reversed.

When a Hispanic man shot a Black youth in Florida, claiming he was attacked and had to defend himself, the national media went into hysteria about it and they blamed the shooter for profiling. Imagine what would have happened if the shooter hadn’t offered any story at all to justify the shooting. What if he had just said the sight of a black youth “freaked him out” and he shot the youth to death in response?

The Associated Press reports:

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Prosecutors in Dakota County said 36-year-old Jonna Kojo Armartey fatally struck 58-year-old Diane Peterson and 74-year-old Roger Peterson of the Twin Cities suburb Eagan last Thursday as they were walking near a strip mall. Police said they found Diane and Roger Peterson struggling to breathe, and they later died after being taken to the hospital.

Police arrested Armartey several hours later at an Apple Valley hotel roughly 6 miles away after he abandoned the minivan.

“This was not an accident,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement announcing the charges. “The victims, in this case, appear to have been targeted by the defendant, the reasons for which are unknown at this time.”

Read the entire AP story.

No reason? Well what did the suspect tell the police?

Fox 9 reports, “Murder charges in hit-and-run deaths of Eagan, Minnesota couple out for walk.

57-year-old Diane Peterson and 74-year-old Roger Peterson “freaked him out” so he ran them over. That’s what 36-year-old Jonna Kojo Armartey told police after he was arrested for the hit-and-run deaths of the Eagan, Minnesota couple who were out for their nightly walk last Thursday, June 28.

Armartey was charged Monday in Dakota County with two counts of second-degree murder.

According to the criminal complaint, at 9:51 p.m. officers responded to the 2900 block of Silver Bell Road on a report of a crash between a vehicle and a pedestrian. According to witnesses, the Petersons were laying in the parking lot, bleeding and gasping for air. Both were transported to Regions Hospital where they passed away.


Armartey was located at a hotel in Apple Valley and taken into custody. He and the Petersons were not known to each other.

Read the entire news story.

So a black man kills a white couple because they’re a white couple out walking. That national media shows no interest and no one even suggests the possibility of a hate crime.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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