'Depraved Menaces': KKK-Dressed Texas Teens Shot Black Teen With Taser on Halloween: Lawyer

A Black teenager in Woodsboro, Texas, said he was shot by a stun gun by his high school classmates who were dressed in Ku Klux Klan outfits on Halloween, according to the teen's attorney.

The attorney, Matt Manning, hasn't identified his client or the alleged perpetrators because they are all minors. His client, who said he was shocked with a Taser or Taser-like device, is the youngest.

Manning told Newsweek that his client is healthy and has been "far more gracious than I would have ever been at their age."

"We're not talking about high school hijinks—we're talking about a very metered and intentional decision to do something that you know is terrorizing," Manning said. "That's what has incensed me since I first heard about this case."

He added, "I think it's really important to discuss the historical context—the Klan is a particularly evocative terror group for Black Americans."

The three alleged perpetrators and their victim are enrolled in and attending the same school, Manning said.

In a Facebook post, Manning noted that the three are players on the Woodsboro High School football team and were allowed to play Friday night.

"We are demanding an explanation from the Woodsboro HS administration and athletic department for how three players could commit an act of terror, hate, and injury—surely known by coaches and administration to have occurred—yet still be afforded the PRIVILEGE to play football," Manning wrote. He called the three teens "depraved menaces."

The Woodsboro High School didn't immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment.

In a statement posted to Facebook this week and signed by Woodsboro Superintendent Ronald Segers Jr., the Woodsboro Independent School District acknowledged that it "is aware of an event that occurred on Halloween night and involving Woodsboro High School students allegedly dressed in garb associated with a widely-known racial hate group and antagonizing a classmate."

"This event did not occur at school or at any school-sponsored or school-related activity," the statement went on. It noted that the district "cannot discipline students for this type of conduct when it occurs off-campus."

Counselors have been made available for affected students, according to the district's statement.

Manning told Newsweek that he doesn't find the district's argument convincing. He noted that the school's written code of conduct allows for punishment for severe activities even when they are off campus.

"I find it wholly unsatisfactory," he said. "We're dealing with intentional acts, and those call for severe punishment."

Manning said he believes there may be a video of the incident that circulated among students. He hasn't received or seen a copy of it but said law enforcement is working to track it down.

"Many people have responded very positively and provided as much information as they have," he said.

Jeremy Lane Coleman, president of the Corpus Christi, Texas, chapter of the NAACP, called the incident a "hate crime" during a news conference with Manning this week.

In September, the FBI reported that hate crimes in the United States reached their highest level in more than a decade in 2020. More than 61 percent of victims were targeted for their race or ethnicity, the FBI found.

Black teen allegedly tased by KKK-dressed classmates
A Texas attorney says his client, a Black teen, was assaulted by three classmates wearing Ku Klux Klan garb. Above, a Klansman raises his arm during a "white power" chant at a Ku Klux Klan rally on December 16, 2000, in Skokie, Illinois. Tim Boyle/Newsmakers/Getty Images