Was the murder of William Sims an El Sobrante California black singer/musician motivated specifically because of the victim’s race?
The entertainer’s death comes after he was found beaten and shot on the side of a road in El Sobrante, 15 miles north of Oakland, California , on November 12 where he was left to die.
Perhaps non coincidentally, the Southern Poverty Law Center has counted more than 700 cases of hateful harassment or intimidation in the United States between November 9, the day after Election Day, and November 16.
On November 16, authorities arrested Daniel Porter Kelly a 31 year old man from Richmond, charging him with murder, robbery and committing a racially motivated crime.
That said, police believe there were two other accomplices in the murder of Will Sims: 32 year old man Ray Simons and 31 year old man Daniel Ortega who remain on the run and are believed to be armed.
Yet to be necessarily understood is how police came to the conclusion that the murder of William Sims was specifically motivated on race?
Contra Costa County investigators believe the three men set upon Sims near a local pool hall, the Capri Club.
Police believe Sims was bashed, robbed, and then executed as he tried to flee.
Porter-Kelly could face the death penalty if he is found guilty of committing a hate crime.
— Advise Media Network (@AdviseShowMedia) November 24, 2016
Of particular note, when Anthony Rayford, 39, a local construction worker, who said he was friends with the suspects and ‘would sometimes employ them’ was told of they were connected to the murder of William Sims, the man expressed deep shock and skepticism.
Told the man via the SF Gate: ‘I would never expect that type of behavior out of them,’
‘Every time they’ve worked with me and for me, I’ve never had any trouble with any of them. Always on time and hard workers. … It’s hard for me to swallow that they would be charged for this.’
Sims was a talented musician and performer who played the piano, guitar, saxophone and violin, and his death has has shattered many members of the San Francisco music scene notes the SF Gate.
Told the singer’s friend, Brett Murphy: ‘Will was an amazing human being,’
‘He cared for and helped others any chance he got. He always wanted others to be as happy and have as much fun as he was. He made friends with everyone. He was very charismatic.’
Reiterated friend Ray Simons, 32 via the eastbaytimes: ‘This was the most peaceful man,’
‘A very gentle soul. He didn’t have any problems with anyone.’
Sims had been part of the award-winning JAZZ-ology group since 2012. The group performed at a number of festivals around California.
To date authorities are trying to understand to what degree William Sims race led to him being specifically targeted by his white assailants and to what degree Sims’ death might be the upturning of a new phenomenon in a newly charged political environment?