Last Thursday, a Georgia man admitted to attempting to murder Blacks and Arabs because he despised those races. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. According to 11Alive, Larry Foxworth, 48, shot at two establishments in Jonesboro in 2021. Because of his hatred for minorities, he intended to kill them.
Following his arrest in connection with the shootings, the accused White man informed the FBI and the US Attorney’s Office that he drove to the two locations and opened fire because he knew Blacks and Arabs would be present.
“Foxworth used a firearm to commit a brazen and heinous hate crime,” U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan said in a statement released by the Department of Justice. “He fired repeatedly into convenience stores in his effort to kill those inside based solely on the color of their skin. This abhorrent act of violence and intimidation left the victims, their families, and the community traumatized, and merits the prison sentence Foxworth received. The Department of Justice and our federal law enforcement partners will continue to vigorously prosecute hate crimes.”
According to Buchanan, Foxworth first fired several rounds into a gas station convenience shop in Jonesboro before repeating the act at another neighboring store. When he started fire, the two stores were claimed to be open and occupied. The gunfire did not strike anyone.
“The defendant fired a gun into a store wanting to kill people who he thought were Black or Arab,” said Assistant Attorney General, Kristen Clarke, of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “Hate-fueled violence not only traumatizes the victims, but it threatens and intimidates an entire community. This sentence demonstrates the importance of holding accountable those who commit racially-motivated violence. The Justice Department is committed to aggressively prosecuting those individuals who carry out hate crimes in our country.”
One of the shooting survivors, Lorenzo Lambert, told 11Alive that Foxworth’s conviction was “a good thing.” “Maybe he’ll learn something while he in there. Some people don’t learn anything while they’re in there, they just get eviler,” Lambert added.
Victor Amaya also said the shootings shook up the community, adding that everyone is still cautious despite Foxworth’s conviction. “Well, nobody really knew exactly why they were doing it,” Amaya said. “We all thought it was a targeted thing, but we didn’t know what they were targeting… Now we know… It will take a while for us to get comfortable again, in the sense of us feeling safe around here.”
Per a report from the FBI, hate crimes in Georgia shot up by 22% (238 reported cases) in 2021. The number of reported hate crimes the previous year was 195. “I wouldn’t say I feel safer,” Lambert said about Foxworth’s conviction.
“You just have to be more careful and just keep your head up and keep your eyes on the right things.”