White Woman Acquitted Of Hate Crime After Slapping Black Car Salesman And Calling Him A 'N****r'
The judge said she would have had the same reaction with someone who wasn't Black.
January 02, 2020 at 9:30 pm
A white woman was acquitted on Monday of ethnic intimidation after backhanding a Black car salesman who was appraising her car.
Shelly Hueckel, who was at a Michigan car dealership, was allegedly upset after Terrance Smith appraised her car back in April, according to U.S. News.
"The problem came when he told her the value of her trade-in vehicle. ... That’s when, for lack of a better word, all hell broke out,” Judge Paul Sullivan said.
She walked into the dealership with another person with the plans to use the trade-in value of a truck toward a new car.
The 47-year-old repeatedly called Smith a "n****r" after becoming upset over not receiving what she thought was enough for her trade-in, WZZM reports. However, Sullivan argued Hueckel would have been upset and had a similar reaction with someone who wasn't Black.
“She was angry and she said things she shouldn’t have said. She was uncivil. She acted like a juvenile,” the judge said. "If I were a parent and she was a child, she’d be taken out back and disciplined in some way. ... The words caused hurt, and understandably so.”
An attorney for Hueckel agreed with the judge. The attorney said she was upset by the appraisal only, not Smith's race.
Assistant Prosecutor Angela Curtis argued Smith's race did play a part in Hueckel's reaction with emphasis on her using racial slurs during the incident.
“You don’t say that word by accident,” Curtis said.
She was initially charged with assault and battery, but prosecutors decided to add ethnic intimidation to her charges after reviewing the police report and further investigation.
She was convicted of misdemeanor assault which carries a maximum of 93 days in jail.
During court, Judge Sullivan told Hueckel, “You ought to be ashamed of yourself."
Smith said he doesn't agree with the judge's decision.
“How do you do this to a human being and just walk away? ... I don’t have any other words,” Smith said.
Fox 17 reports Hueckel is expected to be in court on February 11 for her sentencing hearing. In addition to facing 93 days in prison, she could be expected to pay a $500 fine.
Back in December 2019, a judge in Maryland decided to drop a hate crime charge against a white college student who fatally stabbed a Black 23-year-old days before graduation, as Blavity previously reported.
The judge said despite disturbing evidence, the state failed to prove the stabbing was racially motivated.