RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield teen is speaking out for the first time about an alleged hate crime he was a victim of in 2020.
Jerry Chambers Jr. and his family held a rally with community members and advocates at the United Nations Church in Richmond Sunday. The Chambers family called on law enforcement to handle the investigation properly and demanded whoever is responsible be brought to justice.
In September 2020, Chambers attended a party in Powhatan County. He said after he became intoxicated and passed out, some people wrote racial slurs on his head in sharpie. They also put a confederate flag and other items on his body and then snapped pictures.
Chambers Jr. opened up at the rally saying the trauma led him to try and take his own life.
“I was in the ICU for days not even having the strength to get up and walk,” he said. “It wasn’t worth it at all. It never is. Never let the actions of someone else determine whether you want to live or not.”
Chambers said he’s been attending therapy sessions since the incident happened. His parents, Jerry and Kristie Chambers, went to law enforcement over a year ago. They say nothing has been done since then.
“To be a father and not be able to do something about what they did to my son … no words,” said Mr. Chambers.
The Chesterfield Police Department and the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office told 8News that at the time, the family either didn’t want the incident to be investigated or they weren’t sure about filing a report. However, the Chambers family said they brought all the necessary evidence to law enforcement and waited for them to move forward.
“Being the victim of a hate crime definitely scars you for life. It takes away your human rights and for me it felt like I lost my manhood,” said Chambers Jr.
“The support y’all are bringing me now … wow. It gives me hope to know that this is not going to go without something being done,” said Mr. Chambers.
The FBI has been investigating the incident since earlier this year and the Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney has been investigating since last week.