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‘Modern-Day, Unhooded, KKK’: Two White Men Off to Prison for 2018 Racially-Motivated Attack on Unsuspecting Black DJ

Four men with white supremacist ties are serving prison time after a federal judge sentenced them for beating a Black disc jockey in a violent, alleged racially motivated attack in Washington State.

“It’s been a long road for me,” Tyrone Smith said to the Daily Herald after the sentencing hearing.

During the hearing, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones referred to the white men guilty of federal hate crimes as “modern-day, unhooded” KKK, the Associated Press reported.

Jason DeSimas, 45, Jason Stanley, 46, Randy Smith, 42, and Daniel Dorson, 27, each pleaded guilty to one count of committing a hate crime and one count of making false statements to investigators about their role in the assault, the U.S. State’s Attorney Office Western District of Washington announced.

Tyrone Smith
Screenshot of Tyrone Smith, who survived a racist 2018 attack by white supremacists who were sentenced to prison on federal hate crime charges (Photo: Twitter/NiaWong)

Tyrone Smith, who is Black, was working as a DJ at a bar in Lynnwood, Washington, about 17 miles north of Seattle the night of Dec. 8, 2018. The Daily Herald reported a “belligerent group of white men flashed Nazi salutes on the dance floor.”

A large group of men that “included fellow members of Crew 38 and the Hammerskins,” according to a press release from the U.S. State’s Attorney Office Western District of Washington, wore dark jeans, black boots, black “bomber” jackets, dark-colored T-shirts and crew-cut hairstyles. Crew 38 reportedly is a support group for the Hammerskins, a white supremacist organization. Their clothing showcased “white supremacist beliefs,” including a noose. Some of the men had swastikas tattoos, the Department of Justice added.

The phrasing on their clothing included “Save Your Race,” “Strength Thru Hate,” and “New Confederacy,” the Daily Herald reported.

Tyrone Smith became a target of the racist group when Smith “attempted to move defendant Stanley away from his music equipment,” the press release states.

The four defendants “punched and kicked” Smith and even attacked two bystanders who attempted to help him, according to the release.

One witness claimed an “estimated 14 men” beat Tyrone Smith up, the Daily Herald reports.

Authorities said Smith suffered “serious physical injuries, including extreme pain, loss of consciousness, bleeding and swelling in his eye and bruising on his back, chest and legs,” the DOJ said in its report.

Sheriff’s deputies pulled over a white Toyota Tundra roughly six blocks away from the bar and arrested six people inside the vehicle for the attack.

On Dec. 18, 2020, DeSimas, Stanley, Randy Smith and Dorson were indicted for federal hate crimes and making false statements in connection with Tyrone Smith’s racially motivated assault. Other people accused of participating in the attack avoided indictments due to insufficient evidence.

In their plea agreements, the four men admitted to being members of “Crew 38 and/or the Hammerskins” white supremacist groups.

“The defendants subjected a Black man to a brutal and racially motivated assault,” assistant attorney general Kristen Clarke said.

After the attack, Tyrone Smith said he moved to Louisiana. Years later, he is still dealing with the aftereffects of the beating.

“He has permanent indentations in his head and a traumatic brain injury,” and is afraid to go to new places without protection, Herald Net reported.

The four men guilty of attacking Tyrone Smith were sentenced to more than two to four years in prison.

“DeSimas and Stanley were each sentenced to four years in prison; Randy Smith was sentenced to 42 months in prison; and Dorson was sentenced to 28 months in prison,” the DOJ said.

“Protecting the public is the primary concern of the court…Your crew was nothing more than a modern-day, unhooded, KKK taking out hate on a Black man…. What you did demonstrated hate and ignorance,” Judge Jones said during the sentencing hearing.

“These particular defendants are deeply steeped in racial hatred, expressed through their Nazi tattoos, white supremacist symbols on their clothing, and their use of racist slurs. They came to our area to honor a man who died leading a racist and violent gang and thought they could act on their beliefs with impunity,” U.S. attorney Nick Brown said.

Brown makes reference to Dec. 8, the day of Tyrone Smith’s attack, as also the day white supremacist Robert Jay Matthews was killed following a 35-hour standoff with the FBI in 1984, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

After the sentencing, some of the convicted men expressed regret for harboring racist beliefs and/or for their racist actions, based on letters the men wrote to the judge.

With the criminal proceedings wrapped up, Tyrone Smith has turned his attention to his civil lawsuit against the bar’s owner, whom he claims was negligent.

“Serving alcohol to customers, failure to provide adequate security and allowing a large and threatening gang to remain on premises even after law enforcement response” partially caused Smith’s injuries, the lawsuit says, according to the Daily Herald.  

“This has been a very damaging event in his life,” Tyrone Smith’s attorney Allison Micheli said.

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