SPOKANE, Wash. -The two suspects of an alleged racially motivated crime pleaded not guilty to the committing the act. Donald Prichard and Jason Cooper are accused of shooting up a house in North Spokane two weeks ago.
Their arraignment started out as a typical one, but afterwards, there was an impromptu rally in the hallway outside the courtroom against hate.
The group of people had been in the courtroom, showing support for the victim of this crime and sending a clear message that hate has no place in Spokane. They each had pieces of duct tape – some saying “Black lives matter” and others saying “no hate here.”
Each person who spoke gave passionate speeches about how now is the time to stand up and speak out.
That’s because Prichard and Cooper were arrested after what witnesses described as a racially motivated shooting. Court docs show the suspects threatened the victim with a gun and hurled racial slurs at them before the shots rang out. Officials say Cooper has marking that indicate support of white supremacy.
Kurtis Robinson, president of the Spokane NAACP chapter, says a solution to this hate will have to be a collective response.
“It’s time to step out and do something meaningful and impactful and sustainable about it instead of pretending it's someone else's issue,” Robinson says.
Both suspects remain in jail on a half million dollar bond each.