(ATLANTA, GA, 5/11/2018) --
The Georgia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Georgia) today thanked law enforcement for upgrading the misdemeanor battery charge against Rick Painter to felony charges of false imprisonment and aggravated assault.
Painter was arrested on May 5th and charged with battery after he allegedly attacked Sonia King, a Muslim woman who delivered food to his home for DoorDash. King used her keyring to fight off Painter as he attempted to strangle her with her own religious head scarf.
Painter, who has a criminal record and was described by one of his neighbors as a "racist," declared himself to be "Jesus" just before the attack.
"We thank law enforcement for leveling new charges that reflect the serious nature of this crime, which could have ended in Sonya King's death if she had not fought back so bravely," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-Georgia.
CAIR-Georgia has also called on prosecutors to seek the cancellation of Painter's bond, and to determine whether bigotry played any role in the attack. Painter was originally assigned a $5,000 bond, which means he could have gone free after paying only ten percent, $500.
"Mr. Painter poses a clear and present danger to the public," Mitchell said. "The courts must not allow him to go free and terrorize other innocent people while he awaits trial. He should stay in jail until the end of his case."
CAIR said it has witnessed an unprecedented spike in bigotry targeting American Muslims and members of other minority groups since the election of Donald Trump as president.
Community members are being urged to report any bias incidents to police and to CAIR's Civil Rights Department at 202-742-6420 or by filing a report at: http://www.cair.com/report
CAIR launched an app to share critical “know your rights” information and to simplify the process to report hate crimes and bias incidents. CAIR is urging American Muslims and members of other minority groups to download the app and utilize this resource to stay informed and empowered.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.
La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.