Salt Lake police say fight over Confederate flag could be hate crime

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WARNING: Video is violent. Discretion is advised. 

SALT LAKE CITY -- A fight outside a Salt Lake City hotel Sunday morning could be investigated as a hate crime, police said Monday.

Cell phone video obtained by Fox13 in Salt Lake captured a black man throwing a punch at a white man, who knocked him out. The fight began as an argument over a truck's Confederate flag decal.

The truck belonged to a friend of Kelly Leeper, who was in town for a Garth Brooks concert. Leeper said he looked out his hotel window and saw a group of black men crowded around the truck, which he claimed held $50,000 worth of welding equipment.

The truck had a decal of the Confederate flag on the side.

"The point is, it's my right to drive what any kind of vehicle I want," Leeper said. "If I want to fly the Confederate flag, it's my right."

Leeper said the fight turned racial, with slurs going both ways by the time it was over.

"I'll be damned if I ever come to Salt Lake again without bringing my gun," Leeper said.

The video was turned over to police.

"It could potentially be a hate crime.  We'll then present all that to the district attorney who will make that final determination,” said Sgt. Robin Heiden, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Police Department.

 

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