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Press Release

Louisiana Man Pleads Guilty to Racially-Motivated Assault on Hurricane Relief Workers

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Josh Jambon, 52, a resident of Grand Isle, Louisiana, pleaded guilty today in front of U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan to two counts of federal civil rights violations, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

In connection with his plea, Jambon admitted that he assaulted two female African-American Hurricane Isaac relief workers because of their race and because of their employment status. On Sept. 18, 2012, in Grand Isle, Jambon approached a work crew tasked with cleaning up debris from Hurricane Isaac. During an interaction with the work crew, Jambon used racial slurs against two female African-American crew members, M.R. and N.S. Jambon then approached N.S. and hit her in the face, because of her race and because of her employment with the work crew, then proceeded to assault M.R. in the same manner. When Jambon saw a third crew member, B.W., filming the incident on her cell phone, Jambon initiated a physical struggle with B.W. in an attempt to take her cell phone so that he could delete the video.

“Hate-fueled violence has no place in a civilized society,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Jocelyn Samuels for the Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Department is committed to using all the tools in our law enforcement arsenal to prosecute acts motivated by racial bias.”

“By holding Mr. Jambon accountable for his racially-motivated criminal conduct, our office once again demonstrates its commitment to protecting the civil rights of all residents in Southeast Louisiana,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite Jr. for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

For each count, Jambon faces a statutory maximum penalty of one year in prison, up to one year of supervised release, a $100,000 fine and a $25 special assessment.

The case is being investigated by special agents of the FBI.

The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Risa Berkower of the Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Chester for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

Updated May 18, 2016

Hate Crimes
Press Release Number: 14-696