Did I read correctly - they charged the thugs with AGGRAVATED assault? What, is being white an act of aggravation? Or are they claiming that the victim had done something to deserve this?
I believe that in this context the phrase “Aggravated assault” means “Worse than standard Assault”.
When I was on jury duty awhile back, I learned that the involvement of a deadly weapon is what makes a crime "aggravated." This may vary from state to state.
From the Free Online Law Dictionary:
A person is guilty of aggravated assault if he or she attempts to cause serious bodily injury to another or causes such injury purposely, knowingly, or recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life; or attempts to cause or purposely or knowingly causes bodily injury to another with a deadly weapon. In all jurisdictions statutes punish such aggravated assaults as assault with intent to murder (or rob or kill or rape) and assault with a dangerous (or deadly) weapon more severely than “simple” assaults.
West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
aggravated assault n. the crime of physically attacking another person which results in serious bodily harm and/or is made with a deadly or dangerous weapon such as a gun, knife, sword, ax or blunt instrument. Aggravated assault is usually a felony punishable by a term in state prison. (See: assault)
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