OP-NAT EYE REPORT
March 26, 2012 (links and videos updated December 30, 2018)
KANSAS CITY — Blog sites and message boards have been peppered with double-standard allegations when it comes to media distribution of potential hate crimes committed against “blacks” and those against “whites” ever since a February 28 alleged incident in Kansas City you may not have heard about.
It was a Tuesday afternoon, when 13-year-old Allen Coon told police he was followed home from East High School by what he described as two black males with facial hair. According to the police report (see PDF here), one of the alleged assailants “bear-hugged” Allen as he was trying to unlock his front door and go inside. One of the assailants picked up a gas can which Dale Goin, Allen’s father, said he left outside on the front porch. According to the police report, the assailants said “this is what you get” as they tried to light the gas can on fire with a lighter. But they dropped the gas can and spilled it on the porch. One of the suspects was then “successful in lighting the gasoline producing a large fireball burning the face and hair of [Allen],” according to the report. The suspects then ran away.
Shaky facts, racial undertones
The case has become a rallying cry for certain segments of the population, including anti-immigrant groups, bloggers who blame “racist” teachers at the school, and bloggers declaring a double standard in media coverage with the murder of Trayvon Martin and this alleged attack.
Here is a report from KMBC in Kansas City about the incident, which an angry Youtuber entitled “16 yr old Black Thugs try to Kill 13 yr old white boy setting him on fire.” (note: this account was removed by Youtube; thus video also removed)
Here is another report by KSHB NBC 41 Action News in Kansas City, uploaded to Youtube entitled “Discrimination Against White People In America Exposed Part 3.”
Sergeant Stacey Graves told the OP-NAT EYE that there are still no suspects as of today, which is where questions begin to arise. There are many parts to this story which have either been completely sensationalized by the blogosphere and others which are factually incorrect and/or completely suspect in nature.
The gas can which was allegedly used by the alleged assailants was not taken in by police as evidence. KMBC reported the gas can was still there “24 hours after” the attack, while they filmed their story. It would seem police could easily, with forensics nowadays, get fingerprints off the can and identify the suspects almost immediately.
“This is still an open investigation, so we cannot discuss any evidence we have or have not gathered,” Graves said. Reports of Allen being “doused” with gasoline are not correct, Graves said. The gas can was dropped, spilling some of the contents on the porch and splashing some on the alleged victim and assailants. Comments on the Youtube videos question how the boy only receive first degree burns if he was “doused” in gasoline and how he could possibly put out the fire with a gasoline-soaked shirt. The sergeant acknowledged that Melissa Coon, Allen mother, said the assailants called Allen “whiteboy,” but pointed out that is not part of the police report.
“We are taking them at their word and will continue to investigate this as a potential hate crime,” she said. There is not enough evidence at this point to call it racially motivated, she said.
There are also many reports saying the alleged assailants are “16-years-old,” yet this does not appear in the police report. But assuming this is correct, Kansas City’s East High School has about 1100 students in grades 7-12. Assuming all classes are equal in size, the number of potential suspects shrinks considerably if they were “16,” “had facial hair,” and are “black.” Graves said police are still talking to school officials to determine whether something happened at school that day leading up to the alleged attack. Still, nobody seems to be able to identify the suspects from such a small, finite sample size.
Melissa Coon, according to the NBC 41 report above, said she has been trying to get her son transferred from the school because of “racial harassment.” She said the district has been uncooperative, but according to the NBC 41 report, the district offered to transfer her kids to any school in the district and/or one-on-one home schooling funded by the school.
The Missouri Board of Education stripped Kansas City Public Schools of its accreditation last September (went into effect January 1, 2012) because the district failed to meet minimum performance standards. Jackson County Judge Brent Powell denied a request for a temporary restraining order filed by six suburban schools, asking the court to halt mass transfers to their schools. Missouri state law allows students to transfer to suburban schools at the expense of the non-accredited school. Ms. Coon not only was offered in-home instruction for her kids, but state law allows her to transfer her kids without Kansas City Public School’s permission or blessing.
Trayvon Martin vs. Allen Coon
The comparisons of this case to the Trayvon Martin murder in Florida is the subject of many web forums. High emotions and anger are clouding the fact that the murderer of Martin, George Zimmerman, has been unequivocally identified and is on several 911 call tapes, yet still has not been arrested. The alleged assailants of Allen Coon have not been identified and as soon as they are, it is inevitable they will be arrested and charged with assault. The evidence in both cases is also night-and-day…one being hearsay, the other backed by witness accounts and 911 tapes.
Some have gone as far to say the entire Allen Coon case is a hoax, directed by an angry mother who is upset at the school district and her living conditions in Kansas City. She also knows there is a white audience who will help her disseminate her tale. Others have even set forth the “black boogeyman” theory – blaming a black person for a crime that either never happened or clearly involved another suspect.
There is one indisputable fact about this case, in that it has white Americans up in arms because there is not much media attention and the Kansas City Police are not investigating it as a hate crime. But Sergeant Graves said that could change.
“At this time, we have no evidence this assault was a bias or hate crime,” Graves said. “The incident is still under investigation and is actively being worked by Assault Squad detectives in our Homicide Unit. If investigators discover it is a bias or hate crime the report will be reclassified as such. This is not an incident we take lightly. Detectives have reached out to the community and members of the school district in the course of this investigation to learn as much as they can about what occurred and may have led up to the assault – and they are still doing that today.”
UPDATED March 27, 2012: 7:02 a.m. Arizona Time: monster-island.net has confirmed that the photo used on the Justice for Allen Coon Facebook page is not Allen, but actually an Afghani female burn victim. The administrator of the Facebook page, who’s name is “Melissa,” (but says she is not the mother) not only has now changed the profile picture, but also took down Operation-Nation staffer Annabeth Milosevic’s comments which included a link to this story and asked why a phony picture is being used. See below.
Before and after “Justice for Allen Coon” Facebook page.
And above is the deleted comment by our staffer.
UPDATED March 27, 2012 1:03 Arizona Time: Melissa Coon Says She Is Not Admin at the Facebook “Justice For Allen Coon” page (note: page is now defunct).
Here is a comment left on our site by Ms. Coon, which we have taken down due to a phone number being listed on it.
“I am the mother of Allen Goin, not Coon as the media portrays. [I] am not sure who has been setting up fake pics and pretending to be me. But it is unfair and sad the nation portrays us this way. please contact me [redacted] if any questions or contact the local kcpd and they can forward the message. Also I’ve never lived in texas. have lived in missouri my whole life. you have me mixed up with the other lady that had problems from the school.”
We will be updating the story further once we speak with or receive email correspondence from Ms. Coon.