For his part, Jack Levin, a crim­i­nol­o­gist at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity in Boston, is not con­vinced that knockout game attacks are growing. He argues in an upcoming journal article that racially fueled knockout attacks are in the news is because they’ve actu­ally become rarer than in the past, so they are more notable. The 1990s, he says, had far more reports of so-​​called “thrill hate crimes” – think white teenagers beating up home­less men.

This is a thrill hate crime because typ­i­cally young people who go out looking for someone to bash or assault, the act doesn’t nec­es­sarily require some trig­gering episode in wider society,” says Mr. Levin in a phone inter­view with the Mon­itor. “These knockout attacks are usu­ally inter­ra­cial, but not every inter­ra­cial crime is a hate crime.”

Read the article at The Christian Science Monitor →