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Wisconsin State Fair mob attack: Police seek hate crime charges

Wisconsin police say a mob attack at the Wisconsin State Fair was racially motivated. One teen arrested Wednesday said he deliberately targeted white fairgoers because they were 'easy targets.'

People visit the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, Wisconsin, Aug. 5.

Allen Fredrickson/Reuters

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Police in West Allis, Wis., say some attacks by black teenagers on white people outside the gates of the Wisconsin State Fair on Aug. 4 were racially motivated and should be prosecuted as hate crimes.

One African-American teenager arrested Wednesday confirmed witness statements suggesting that the large group of black teens, who had originally fought among themselves, specifically targeted white people as they spilled out of the large fairgrounds on the outskirts of Milwaukee at closing time. According to the West Allis Police, he said he personally picked out white people because they were "easy targets." Eleven people were hurt.

The incident sparked a crackdown by Gov. Scott Walker (R) and widespread condemnation of the acts by leaders in Milwaukee's black community. After the incident, Milwaukee joined Chicago and Philadelphia in efforts to combat a spate of recent attacks by groups of primarily African-American teens against strangers who are white.

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