Update: Last August, we reported about a bias-motivated-crime charge pressed against Christopher Derby; our previous coverage has been incorporated into this post
In recent years, as we noted at the time, victims of such incidents in the Denver area have included the foreign-born (including a Moroccan native attacked at a Denver hookah bar in 2012) and gay people (a man was assaulted in 2014 after disparaging remarks were made about his sexual orientation). Derby, for his part, allegedly punched his victim in the face simply because she was African-American. He's said to have boasted afterward that he "knocked that nigger bitch out."
Derby subsequently pleaded guilty to the crime — and he's now been given a hefty prison sentence.
According to Derby's arrest affidavit, included below, the incident took place at about 2:05 a.m. on July 27, 2015, on the 1000 block of South Broadway, an area captured in the following interactive graphic. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View on Google Maps."
The 23-year-old victim told a Denver police officer that she and her friends were at this location when two white males approached them.
One of the men, later identified as Derby, is said to have asked, "What's going on with black people, and why are y'all causing so much trouble these days?"
This provocative question prompted an exchange of words between the parties, with the victim and other members of her party telling the men to go away. At that point, Derby allegedly called the victim by the aforementioned N-word and punched her in the face before escaping south on Broadway.
The blow caused a laceration on the victim's lip that required three stitches to close, the report maintains.
Three days later, on July 30, the officer was contacted by a man who revealed that he had been with Derby on that evening. He was stepping forward "because he does not believe in racism or hitting females," he allowed.
The man said he was actually about thirty feet away from Derby when the latter was speaking with the women, so he didn't know exactly what was said. However, he saw Derby punch the woman in the face, he told the investigator — and afterward, Derby told him, "I knocked that nigger bitch out."
The Denver District Attorney's Office charged Derby with bias-motivated crime, a felony, and misdemeanor third-degree assault. The latter accusation was eventually dropped, with Derby agreeing to plead guilty to the former. His sentence, delivered earlier this month, was four years in prison — the maximum amount available under the agreement, the DA's office notes.
At the sentencing hearing, Derby made a brief statement, apologizing for his actions. Look below to see the full-size booking photo of Derby, followed by the aforementioned arrest affidavit.