Supporters rally Sunday for Chesterfield family who say their son was victim of hate crime

Published: May. 1, 2022 at 7:35 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The parking lot of a United Nations Church International in Richmond was packed Sunday afternoon with people supporting a Chesterfield family who says their son was a victim of a hate crime back in September of 2020.

According to the Chambers family back on Sept. 12 of that year their son Jerry Chambers went to a party in Powhatan with friends.

At the party, the then 16-year-old had been drinking and became unconscious, but when he woke up he found disturbing images of himself on social media.

Photos had been taken of people writing racial slurs and symbols of hate on his head, along with a sex toy that had been placed on his back.

Another image showed Jerry in the bathroom with a Confederate flag placed over him.

“How would you feel if you woke up to use the bathroom and looked in that mirror and saw that writing on you? How would you feel if you were physically abused with a sex toy? How would you feel with guns around you all night and being the only black man with racists,” Jerry said. “How much do I have to express for law enforcement to do anything about it?”

Speaking out for the very first time about what happened that night, Jerry says he feels like he has lost his humanity.

“I had a very severe suicide attempt, I was in the ICU for days not having the strength to walk,” Jerry said. “It was not worth it at all. It never is. Never let the actions of someone else determine if you want to live or not.”

The Chambers family feels that their case is not being properly handled by county law enforcement and says they did not receive any victim support until 15 months after the incident.

“To be a father and not being able to do something about what they did to my son, there are no words, there are no words,” Jerry Chambers Sr., said. “The support you all are bringing me now? Wow. It gives me hope to know this is not going to go without something being done.”

We reached out to the Powhatan Sheriff’s Office about this incident and they provided this statement:

The family said on Sunday, that no matter when this happened their son is still a victim and feels justice needs to be served.

“We’ve got to make some noise in their neighborhoods and we got to bring such a shock in their community that they begin to open their mouths and say who did what to Jerry,” Bishop Orrin Pullings, of United Nations Church International, said. " We got to bring justice for Jerry.”

Another rally in support of the Chambers family will be held on Thursday at the Powhatan County courthouse at 1 p.m.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

Send it to 12 here.

Want NBC12’s top stories in your inbox each morning? Subscribe here.