At the Dillons supermarket in Wichita, Kan., Trace Riff, age 31, kicked a one-year-old Black boy in a racially motivated attack.
“We were barely in the store and [Riff] kicked him in his back,” Lashantai Whitaker, mother of the toddler, told KWCH on Wednesday. “All I heard was a loud thud and my daughter screaming.”
The incident happened on Sunday morning. The Wichita Police Department, describing Trace’s actions as a “racially motivated bias crime,” said he kicked the child while yelling obscenities and racial slurs.
When Riff tried to leave the store, another customer tackled him. As police arrived customers were holding him on the ground. He was arrested for “battery that was bias and racially motivated and resisting arrest.”
Whitaker said her son was not seriously injured, but Trace could have gravely hurt him.
“What grown person, I mean, even if you do have that much hate for someone,… I mean, why would you attack a baby” she said.
Wichita is the largest city in Kansas. According to Census.gov, the population is 75.3 percent white, 11.2 percent Black, 16.7 percent Latino, 5 percent Asian and less than 1 percent American Indian. The median household income is $48,982.
This year, Wichita was one of six cities participating in The National League of Cites’ Racial Equity and Racial Healing Technical Assistance Initiative. NLC said the initiative assists city leaders in identifying the impacts of institutional racism in their community’s policies and practices, and how to take action to address it.
In April, a Wichita Collegiate high school student Gehad Qaki, who is Muslim, had a racist experience on the tennis court.