Hate crime charge in El Sobrante slaying of African American man
A Richmond man has been charged with a hate crime and murder in the death of an African American man found beaten and shot on an El Sobrante road near a pool hall where investigators believe he was attacked.
Daniel Porter-Kelly, 31, who is white, was arrested Nov. 16 and is being held without bail at the Martinez Detention Facility, according to the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.
Will Sims, 28, of Richmond, was robbed and killed by at least three men in an incident police were investigating as a hate crime. Stephanie Rios
County prosecutors have charged Porter-Kelly with robbery and murder with a hate crime enhancement in the killing of 28-year-old William Sims of Richmond, police said.
On Tuesday, authorities identified two other suspects for whom they are searching: Ray Simons, 32, of Hercules, and Daniel Ortega, 31, of Novato or Richmond. The two, both of whom are white, are considered armed and dangerous.
Prosecutors charged Richmond resident Daniel Porter-Kelly, 31 with robbery and murder with a hate crime enhancement in connection with the death of a Richmond musician.
Investigators believe Sims was inside the nearby Capri Club — a pool hall and bar in the 4100 block of Appian Way in El Sobrante — in the early morning hours of Nov. 12 when the suspects jumped, robbed and killed him. He was beaten and shot, authorities said.
A sergeant with the sheriff’s office came across Sims’ body in the street near the pool hall just after 2 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police are searching for Ray Simons, 32, in connection with the murder and robbery of a Richmond musician.
Sims, 28, was a musician who also held a retail job. He had no gang ties or criminal history, said Jimmy Lee, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Lee told KPIX-TV that authorities believe Sims was targeted because he was black.
Detectives also arrested Ortega’s mother, 54-year-old Renee Brown of Novato, on suspicion of interfering with the investigation. Brown was held on $500,000 bail.
Police are searching for Daniel Ortega, 31, in connection with the murder and robbery of a Richmond musician.
Anyone with information on the incident or the whereabouts of Ortega or Simons can contact the sheriff’s department anonymously at (866) 846-3592.
Michael Bodley is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @michael_bodley
…Of course, the questions about how this could’ve happened immediately became racist dog whistles. Did Sims have a criminal record? No.
On the day Will Sims was murdered, men, women and children of color, alongside Muslims and Jews, were all being targeted in waves of Donald Trump-inspired hate and bigotry. While police have not yet released any details on how they concluded that Sims was targeted because of his race, the fact that they charged one perpetrator with a racially-motivated hate crime makes clear they have evidence to prove it. Porter-Kelly was arrested on Nov. 16, why are we just now learning about this? Where is the national manhunt for the other suspects?
Daniel Porter-Kelly (r.) has been charged with murder of Will Sims. Ray Simons (c.) and Daniel Ortega (l.) are identified as suspects.
This wasn’t in the Deep South. This wasn’t during Jim Crow. No, this was in the Bay Area of California in the last days of 2016. As our nation continues to normalize bigotry by calling Neo-Nazis and white supremacists by new names like the “Alt-Right,” the effects of white supremacy are costing real people their lives.
This story was brought to my attention by a friend yesterday. To say that it is horrific doesn't even begin to cover it. To those white Californians of the Bay Area, living on a little pink cloud of imagined racial amity: Heads up! This is real, and all too common. And it bids fair to become even more so as Drumpf takes office.
We who are white must be vocal about this. Men like Daniel Porter-Kelly, Ray Simons and Daniel Ortega must be brought to justice. And that justice should fall heavily upon them.
We must educate ourselves, our children, our families and our friends that this kind of thing is frighteningly commonplace. We must show zero tolerance for racism and hate, and we must search deeply and honestly for the seeds of racial injustice in our communities and in our own hearts and minds.
No child should have to grow up in fear because of the color of his or her skin. Science has proven that race is an illusion. We must prove for ourselves that racial "superiority" is a pernicious lie as well.
photo © Geonni Banner