| Security was unusually tight Thursday as four young men made their first court appearance in last weekend's gang rape at Richmond High School, a crime that brought anguish to students and leaders in the city and sent shock waves throughout the nation.|
Later Thursday, police arrested a sixth suspect in the case. A fifth suspect was arrested earlier but has not been charged.
Three defendants, all of them juveniles charged as adults, were wearing bulletproof vests when they were led into Superior Court by a corps of Contra Costa County sheriff's deputies. The three - one of whom had a black eye - looked morose and said nothing as relatives wept in the gallery.
Peter's cousin Monquasha Peter of Richmond burst into tears upon seeing him, and her mother, Monica Peter, dabbed her eyes.
Peter's family accused prosecutors of having racial motives. Peter is the only black suspect named in the case. Smith is white, and the other suspects are Latino.
Peter "didn't have anything to do with this," his aunt said. "He said everyone was just walking past, and he just kept moving when he saw something was going on.
"He's a good kid with no criminal record who likes to play soccer," she said. "I am going to prove his innocence.
"My nephew is scared," she added. "He is the one they've arrested who is black, and if they give my nephew a life sentence, I will sue Richmond. There is no way in hell I will see my nephew blamed in this because he is black."
Monday, November 2, 2009
Race card thrown out in Richmond gang rape case.
Playing the race card in this case is dumb dumb dumb.