An Iraq war veteran who was the alleged victim of a racially motivated beating in Mississippi during the summer may not return home as soon as formerly expected.
Former U.S. Marine Ralph Weems suffered from traumatic brain injury after being attacked at a restaurant in West Point, Mississippi, which, he was told, was not “safe for whites.”
After the attack, Weems began treatment at a VA rehabilitation facility in Texas. He is now looking to move to a facility in either Louisiana or Arkansas.
According to a statement released on the Facebook page "Standing Up for Ralph Weems," a community page set up after the attack, the VA hospital would push him harder than he has been pushed in years.
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Weems’s brother-in-law set up a Gofundme webpage to help finance his brother’s medical expenses, according to the page.
So far, Weems has received about $9,000 in donations from the site. However, it currently falls short of its $25,000 goal.
While Weems is taking positive steps in his recovery, family members said they know he still faces a long road to restoring his full health.
“Traumatic brain injury takes a long time to recover in a lot of ways,” said Ralph Weems III, Weems’s father.
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Weems and David Knighten, a friend, went to a Waffle House in late August of 2014, but soon left after a man politely told the pair that the restaurant was not safe for white people. Community members were still upset about the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
They proceeded to a different restaurant, where a group of people followed and then beat Weems. Knighten said he heard racial slurs directed at Weems during the attack.
Constance Levail McFarland, Marquavious McMillian and Courtez McMillian were all charged with aggravated assault for their alleged participation in the attack.