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Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Captain Andrew McClure Assault Case: The Hate Crime Ignored by the Media

     Army Captain Andrew McClure, during his 14 years in military service that included a combat tour in Iraq, had escaped physical injury. On April 11, 2013, as he stood in the Walmart checkout line dressed in his camouflage fatigues, Captain McClure didn't expect to become the target of an anti-American assault. The incident took place at six o'clock in the evening in Albany, New York.

     In response to something mumbled by the man standing behind him in the Walmart line, Captain McClure turned around to determine if the man was speaking to him.  Forty-seven--year-old Yiqiang Wu responded by giving the man in uniform the finger.

     "Is that for me?" the Captain asked.

     "F---you, American scum," said Wu. "F---you, F---your nation!"

     "If you don't like it here, you can always go home," McClure replied. Before the Captain could turn from the man who had insulted him, the uniform, and the country, Wu punched the Captain several times in the face. Bystanders rushed to McClure's aid. The Walmart customers subdued the attacker until the police entered the store and hauled him away in handcuffs.

     The next day, the Walmart assailant from the Schenectady, New York area stood before a magistrate in an Albany criminal courtroom. Wu was charged with third degree assault as a hate crime. Following his arraignment, the suspect posted his $5,000 bail and was released. The judge ordered a mental illness evaluation.

     Captain McClure, in explaining to a local reporter why he hadn't used his black belt skills to protect himself, said: "I had the presence of mind to know that we're on camera. I'm in uniform and I have to conduct myself as a professional and not do anything that would tarnish or embarrass the unit or the uniform."

     Yiqiang Wu, in speaking to a reporter, said that he heard voices and suffered from headaches. According to him, whenever he plugged his ears to block out the voices, his middle finger shot up. (I'm hearing a voice in my head right now and it says, "load of crap.") Wu assured the reporter that he has no ill-will toward the U.S. military.

     Almost three years have passed since this hate crime assault and there has not been one update in the media about this crime. As a result, we are left with questions regarding the disposition of the case. Was he found guilty? Was he a Chinese citizen who faced deportation? Was he institutionalized as a mental patient? And more importantly, why has the media ignored this outrageous crime?


5 comments:

  1. Story after story, I've read no comment about Wu's citizenship or status in the US. His alleged reference to "your nation" would suggest that is isn't a US citizen, so what will be the outcome? Deportation?

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  2. You raise interesting and important questions. I think this case has struck an American nerve. My question is: what happened to hard-hitting journalism? Reporters ought to be asking the questions you have raised.

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  3. You are right. How come we don't hear about this? A hate crime is a hate crime, plus, let's face it... an American hero shouldn't have to deal with such assaults.

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  4. I'm guessing not every crime is written about.

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  5. I rarely see updates on crime stories. It seem like the news likes to cover "if it bleeds it leads" but once the blood has dried its impossible to find out what happened.

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