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Northern California murder can mean racial motives

SAN FRANCISCO – Authorities in the San Francisco Bay Area are investigating the death of a young black man as a possible hate crime amid growing concerns about racist motivated incidents and attacks in the country.

The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department arrested one white suspect and is seeking two others found to be involved in the Nov. 12 killing of a 28-year-old musician.

The researchers say that the Sims was robbed, beaten and shot to death in the small hours of the morning outside a bar near his hometown of Richmond. Researchers say Sims worked as a retail employee, had no gang ties and a criminal record.

Authorities arrested the 31-year-old Daniel Porter-Kelly and charged him with robbery and murder with a hate crime enhancement. The authorities are looking for 32-year-old Ray Simons and the 31-year-old Daniel Ortega and did not elaborate on the hate crime allegations or the details of the murder.

Porter-Kelly remains jailed without bail. Porter-Kelly’s lawyer, Seth Morris, not to call back on Monday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it has documented 701 “reports of hate-incidents of sexual harassment in the entire country” since the presidential elections.

Since then, the Council on American-Islamic Relations says it has documented over 100 “anti-Muslim” incidents, including an anonymous letter sent to several California mosques, says President-elect Donald Trump will eradicate Muslims.

The population of Richmond is 36 percent black, making it the largest ethnic group in the city. Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said Sims murder turned out to be a hate crime and urged the community restraint.

“I urge Richmond residents for the preservation of our city’s values of respect and care for each other, especially in a time where we are dealing with a national increase in full of hate, hostility and threats to public safety,” Butt said Saturday in a statement.

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This story is corrected to show Porter-Kelly remains imprisoned. An earlier version wrongly, the prison suspect.

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