Monday, December 8, 2008

Man badly beaten in Shreveport for wearing Obama t-shirt

That subject line sounds a lot more generic than it actually is. Kaylon Johnson is the victim in question - and anyone who's ever been in the Shreveport for Obama office knows him very well as our go-to IT guy and one of the office coordinators.

I received a call yesterday from Jasmine Whitehorn about Kaylon's current condition. On Saturday night at a gas station in Shreveport, he was accosted by two white males who were yelling racial slurs, incensed by the Obama bumper stickers on Kaylon's car and the Obama t-shirt Kaylon was wearing. He waved them off, went into the gas station, and when he came out, they jumped on him.

Kaylon was badly beaten and has sustained several head injuries. He will have surgery on Friday to repair a broken eye socket, broken nose, and torn tear duct.

News links with more details about the attack are below. Also attached are images of Kaylon, before and after the attack.

The local media have given the matter some attention, but it needs more. This email also serves different purposes - to let you all know about the attack (and please email if you want to send a message to Kaylon), to heighten awareness about the occurrence of such racist incidents, and to ask you to spread the word yourselves. A press release is also attached, written by fellow volunteer and Kaylon's close friend David Handy. David has been working tirelessly since Saturday night to get the facts of the case and to get those facts out to the public.

I've known Kaylon for a few months now - I first met him this June at a grassroots Obama meeting in Shreveport. I had organized the meeting through; he brought refreshments and buttons (both of which proved to be very popular). Someone on the Louisiana for Obama mailing list made the comment that it would be prudent to avoid wearing Obama paraphernalia unless one seeks martyrdom - it shouldn't have to be that way. Obama is no longer just a politician; he is our President-Elect, even in the red state of Louisiana (where Shreveport and Caddo Parish went blue). Kaylon didn't ask for any of this, and certain members of society need to realize that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated.

Kaylon in the media:
KSLA news report and video interview with Kaylon
KTAL report and video
CNN iReport by Jasmine Whitehorn

Thank you,
Versha Sharma (318.792.5136,
Jasmine Whitehorn (318.210.3727,
David Handy (318.573.4058,
J. T. Thomas (318.617.5879,

(from right to left) Kaylon Johnson, Gloria Briggs, Kellie Whitehorn, and Mildred Whitehorn at the Shreveport for Obama volunteer office in mid-September

Kaylon after the attack


David Handy

Phone Number: 318-573-4058
FAX Number: 800-647-2590
Email Address:

Obama Supporter beaten - Victim of possible hate crime in Shreveport, LA

Shreveport, LA, 12/8/2008 - Kaylon Johnson, 32, an employee of Southern University of Shreveport, was allegedly beaten by two white males on 12/6/2008 between 11:45 p.m. CST and 12:45 a.m. CST on 12/7/2008 at a Shreveport gas station for wearing a Barack Obama T-shirt.

After yelling racial slurs and obscenities including “fuck Obama” and “fuck that Nigger”, Mr. Johnson was attacked and savagely beaten before he could even react. He was punched in the face and knocked out. Mr. Johnson suffered serious injuries to his eye socket and a broken nose, both which will require surgery to repair.

Currently the case is being investigated by the Shreveport Police Department detective below:

Shreveport Police Department

Detective Craig Ivey


The owners name and address of the gas station is:

J & S Fuel Services, Inc - CITGO




Phone: 318-688-0654

For additional information on, Obama Supporter beaten - Victim of possible hate crime in Shreveport, LA, contact spokesperson David Handy at (318) 573-4058.

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