Black Assault Victim Asks What Led Up To Possible Hate Crime

May 19, 2020

A 22-year-old black man in Des Moines said he wants to know why he was targeted by three white men who assaulted him last weekend. DarQuan Jones was attacked early Saturday morning in south Des Moines and told police at least one of the men used racial slurs during the incident.

In his first public comments since the attack, Jones said his face was broken in five places. So was his nose and one arm. He said he wants to know who was responsible, why they singled him out and why the attack was so brutal.

“Why’d they have to go this far to where my life was almost taken?” Jones said. “I didn’t deserve for my face to be broken.”

Jones was rescued by two residents in a nearby apartment. Otherwise, he said, he may not have survived.

“I could have been gone, but within the grace of God I’m still here with my family my friends and my loved ones,” he said.

Jones said he is eager to get back to his job at a car parts warehouse.

The assault followed a cyber-attack Thursday that interrupted an online meeting of the Des Moines City Council and Human Rights Commission with racist, sexist and anti-Semitic messages. Des Moines NAACP president Kameron Middlebrooks said the incidents are a sign of how racial violence and hate speech have worsened during the COVID-19 quarantine.

“You look at the health concerns, you look at the economic concerns and then you also look at these most recent actions or displays of racist content here in Des Moines,” Middlebrooks said. “It has exacerbated every single issue that we face in this country.”

City police are still investigating the assault on DarQuan Jones and have not confirmed whether they also believe it was racially motivated.