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Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty To Assaulting Somali

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(credit: Jupiter Images)

(credit: Jupiter Images)

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty to violating the civil rights of an 83-year-old Somali man after assaulting him while yelling that he was Muslim and should go back to Africa.

George Thompson entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in St. Paul. Court papers say the 64-year-old former employee of the Transportation Security Administration told the older man he was going to kill him and chased him into a Minneapolis street on May 4, 2010.

The court documents say Thompson’s actions were based on the victim’s “actual and perceived religion and national origin.” He was charged under a federal hate crimes act that became law in 2009 and was named for Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, two well-known hate crime victims.

Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced later this year.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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