May 1, 2002

MAY 1, 2002

CONTACT: JERRY REID, Assistant Attorney General 207-626-8800

Attorney General Steven Rowe today announced that his office had filed a civil enforcement action under the Maine Civil Rights Act against brothers Richard Steven Hamilton, 41, and Harry J. Hamilton, 32, of Indian Island. The Attorney General’s complaint, filed in Penobscot County Superior Court, arises out of an incident that took place on Indian Island in the early morning hours of November 3, 2001. The complaint alleges that Richard Hamilton assaulted a Penobscot Indian Nation police officer while the officer was placing him under arrest for disorderly conduct. During the assault Richard Hamilton struck the officer in the face, breaking his tooth. Richard Hamilton also made repeated, racially derogatory remarks toward the officer, who is Caucasian.

The complaint alleges that Harry Hamilton attempted to assault and threatened to kill the officer during the arrest of his brother. Harry Hamilton is accused of approaching the officer brandishing a piece of split wood and yelling “I’m going to kill you” and stating that no one would care because it would be “just another white guy dead.”

The Attorney General’s complaint seeks a restraining order against both Hamiltons. The complaint was referred to the Attorney General’s Office by the Penobscot Indian Nation Police Department.

Attorney General Rowe stated:

“Maine’s Civil Rights Act protects all people from racially motivated assaults and threats of violence, regardless of the color of their skin. The law is color-blind and the Attorney General’s Office will enforce it in an even-handed way whenever someone is victimized because of someone’s bias against their race.”

Attorney General Rowe expressed his appreciation for the investigation conducted by the Penobscot Indian Nation Police Department in this matter.