Brainerd beating brings stirs community

Willie Navy was in Yesterday’s Gone in Brainerd — his regular watering hole — when, he said, two men assaulted him because of the color of his skin. The incident of alleged racial intolerance tops our list of stories this week.

Navy said he’s a regular at the bar and knows several employees there.

“It was … closing time and the dude approached me like, ‘What are you doing here, nigger?’ ” “So I approached him and said, ‘What are you talking about?’ And somebody hit me in the back of my head. That knocked me out right there. And the only thing I could feel was my face getting kicked in,” Navy told KSAX.

Lucas Eastwood and Travis Campbell, were at Yesterday’s Gone at the same time as Navy. The Brainerd Dispatch reports that “an employee at the bar heard Eastwood say he wanted to assault Navy because Navy was black and Eastwood wanted to fight that night.”

Authorities have charged the two men for the brutal attack that may result in Navy losing his eyesight in one eye. The Dispatch has a tick-tock of the events of that morning in Brainerd.

If convicted, the duo could end up spending 20 years in jail. They are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday. They won’t be alone. A group calling themselves “Crow Wing Citizens Stand Against Racism” will also be at the Crow Wind County Judicial Center Tuesday demonstrating against the violence.

Also this week: Different takes on Gov. Mark Dayton’s State of the State speech, Fight is on as Dayton vetoes GOP cuts, After Minneapolis incident Chipotle considers expanding use of E-Verify to check if employees are authorized to work in the United States, Twin Cities home values still skidding downward, 26,000 Minnesotans lost their homes in 2010, St. Paul shapes new voting system, Fairmont School plans to cut 40 jobs, SMSU moves to foster culture of anti-racism, Another close-call for ice fishermen on Lake Superior, Alleged cattle rustlers charged, Is Minnesota still the best state for hockey talent?, Ag equipment market doing well in good year for farmers, A sweet situation for sugar industry, Cold weather heats up car repair shops, Mayor: LGA cuts could raise property taxes by 300%, and DNR bans feeding deer amid CWD concerns.

Michael Olson is online editor for Minnesota Today. His weekly news roundups appear on Friday.

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