The charging recommendation comes after a nearly three-month investigation into the Jan. 20 shooting of one of the organizers of a raucous demonstration in Red Square over the appearance of the then-Breitbart News editor.
University of Washington police are recommending a felony assault charge against a woman who they say shot a protester outside a hall where “alt-right” provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos was speaking on campus in January, according to two sources familiar with the investigation.
The recommendation was submitted Wednesday by UW police detectives to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office, where senior prosecutors will review the investigation and make a charging decision, possibly as early as next week, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The police recommendation is not binding, and prosecutors will make an independent decision on whether a criminal charge should be filed.
The campaign and election of Donald Trump have energized and emboldened a small but vocal corner of American right-wing politics that was mostly absent from the public consciousness: the “alt-right.” Here’s what that term actually means.
Editor’s note: As a matter of policy, The Seattle Times avoids using the term “alt-right” except in quotes or in stories about the term or movement, and we explain / define it whenever we do use it. This approach is consistent with The Associated Press’ guidance on writing about the “alt-right.”
The recommendation comes after a nearly three-month investigation into the Jan. 20 shooting of 34-year-old Josh Dukes, an anti-fascist protester and one of the organizers of a raucous demonstration in Red Square over the appearance of then-Breitbart News editor Yiannopoulos.
Dukes was shot once in the abdomen during a scuffle outside of Kane Hall. Two hours later, a former UW student, Marc Hokoana, and his wife, Elizabeth Hokoana, turned themselves in at the UW police station and claimed self-defense.
While initial suspicion fell on Marc Hokoana, based on his statements and the recovery of a handgun from the trunk of his car, Elizabeth Hokoana’s attorney later approached police and prosecutors and said that she was the shooter.
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In an interview last month with The Seattle Times, the attorney, Steve Wells, said 29-year-old Elizabeth Hokoana shot the protester because she believed her husband, also 29, was in imminent danger of death or serious injury during the scuffle. Wells said the evidence “shows Mrs. Hokoana was legally justified.”
Wells said Wednesday that he had not been informed of the charging recommendation. “I stand by what I’ve said in the past,” he said.
A UW police news release issued a day after the shooting stated that a male suspect had turned himself in along with a second suspect whose gender wasn’t given, and that both had been taken into custody before being released pending further investigation.
Subsequently, search-warrant documents filed Feb. 9 in King County Superior Court revealed the Hokoanas appeared at the UW police station hours after the incident with their hands up, reporting they had been involved in a “self-defense” shooting.
Neither made additional statements, according to the search warrant, and both were taken into custody after asking for attorneys. They were released later that night.
Marc Hokoana told police that a Glock handgun used in the shooting and his cellphone were inside his vehicle, which was parked outside, the affidavit says.
The firearm and the phone were seized. Court documents indicated the cellphone was wiped clean of data.
Dukes was identified in the search-warrant affidavit. He is a computer-security engineer and Industrial Workers of the World organizer.
Dukes suffered life-threatening injuries, underwent surgery at Harborview Medical Center and has been released.
Dukes has said he does not want his assailant punished, and his attorney has said he is interested in “restorative justice” through communicating with the shooter.
His attorney, Sarah Lippek, said in a previous email: “Evidence will not show anything that would justify the use of a deadly weapon against my client.”
Wells, the attorney for Elizabeth Hokoana, said Washington state self-defense laws allow people to protect themselves or others if they believe they face death or serious injury and act in a reasonable fashion.
Kim Gordon, an attorney representing Marc Hokoana, said the video shows her client in a “position of retreating” and Dukes in a “position of advancing.”
UW detectives have reviewed videos of the incident from various sources.
On his Facebook page, Hokoana described himself as a former UW student and said he was in Red Square to attend the speech by “alt-right” editor Yiannopoulos. The “alt-right,” or alternative right, is a loosely defined far-right movement associated with white nationalism, racism, misogyny, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and a desire to keep the U.S. a majority white country.
Yiannopoulos spoke to about 200 students in Kane Hall for about an hour, taking aim at political progressives, feminists and academics who condemn hate speech.
He has since come under fire for remarks that appeared to condone pedophilia, resulting in the Conservative Political Action Conference rescinding a speaking invitation, Simon & Schuster canceling publication of his book, and his resignation from Breitbart News. He later said he doesn’t condone sexual abuse of minors.