the case of hai vo

I believe I wrote about this case late last year... a follow-up on the assault of Hai Vo last November outside a bar in Grand Rapids, Michigan: The Varying Degrees of Hate: the Case of Hai Vo. The assault, an altercation with some racist dudes, landed Vo in a coma, later waking with no recollection of the night, including the faces of those who had assaulted him:
The facts of the night are still under investigation. What is known so far is that Hai had been at the bar with a group of family and friends celebrating a birthday. According to witnesses at the scene, racial remarks were made within the bar at the Asian women with the group. "A white man called over to the group saying that Asian women were cheap and then he held out a bunch of dollars," said Phuong.

As the night came to a close and people left the bar, several fights broke out between those who had been arguing. However, family members and other witnesses maintain that Hai was not a part of the brawl. "He was alone, standing outside waiting for his friend to come pick him up,” said Phuong, "when some guys came up to him and started beating him up."
The question is, was Hai Vo's assault a hate crime? His sister seems to think so. The given details aren't very clear, but I have a hard time believing that race didn't play a factor in this assault. However, for the case to be pursued as a hate crime, "it must be proven that Vo's injuries were caused by racial animus on the part of the perpetrators."
Unfortunately, the article says that the Vo family does not have a lawyer, and are still awaiting the Grand Rapids police department's next step with the case.

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