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Maine files Civil Rights complaint against brothers for Portland assault
April 27, 2015
AUGUSTA, Me – Attorney General Janet Mills announced today that she has filed a complaint in Portland Superior Court under the Maine Civil Rights Act against Benjamin W. Bean and Charles J. Bean for an assault they perpetrated against a Portland man on April 19.
The Attorney General’s complaint alleges that the victim was singled out from a crowd and attacked because of his skin color. The two Bean brothers were fighting with another man when a crowd gathered around. The victim was in the crowd when Charles Bean yelled at the victim, “What are you [expletive] looking at, [expletive] N…er.” The two brothers broke off from the first fight and rushed toward the victim, knocked him down and punched and kicked him. During the assault racial slurs were directed at the victim by both Charles and Benjamin Bean and they threatened to kill him because of his race, stating that they “know where he lives.”
“This behavior is absolutely outrageous and has no place in our society,” said Attorney General Mills. “We will protect the right of every Mainer to enjoy the rights and privileges afforded to them under the Maine and US Constitutions without interference based on the color of their skin.”
Under the Maine Civil Rights Act the Attorney General is seeking an injunction to permanently enjoin the Bean Brothers from having contact with the victim and his family or encouraging others to commit acts against the victim or his family. The Maine Civil Rights Act provides that all people have the right to engage in lawful activities without being subject to actual or threatened physical force, violence or property damage motivated by bias against race, color religion, sex, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. The law further authorizes the Attorney General to file an action against any person who intentionally interferes or attempts to intentionally interfere in such rights through the use or threatened use of violence or property damage. The Bean brothers have 20 days from the date of service of the complaint to file a written response with the Superior Court. The Attorney General’s civil complaint is separate from any criminal charges the two Bean brothers face for the attack. The Attorney General expressed appreciation to the Portland Police Department for their cooperation in investigating this matter.