Attorney: Indiana hate crime allegation is ‘smear campaign’

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for two people involved in a reported assault of a Black man at a southern Indiana lake says his clients are victims, not attackers. Vauhxx Booker says the men pinned him against a tree, shouted racial slurs and one of them threatened to “get a noose” at Monroe Lake near Bloomington over the Independence Day weekend. But an attorney for Sean Purdy and Caroline McCord said in a press conference Monday that Booker threatened them and punched Purdy three times before he had to be restrained. The state Department of Natural Resources and FBI are investigating but no charges have been filed.