COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Two brothers, suspected in the killing of a biracial man on a Danish island in June, were Friday formally charged with murder after the prosecution ruled out a racially motivated crime because of their “long-standing friendship with the deceased.”
“Sufficient grounds have not been found” to charge them under Denmark’s hate crime legislation “as an aggravating circumstance,” chief prosecutor Benthe Pedersen Lund said in a statement.
A biracial man was killed in June on Bornholm in the Baltic Sea, a crime that was labelled as racially motivated by some. Authorities repeatedly have said that it was a personal relationship that went wrong between the victim and the perpetrators was the reason for the slaying, not racism.
The victim, who had Danish and Tanzanian roots, was found on June 23. Two brothers in their 20s are suspected of kicking the victim, stabbing him with a knife and beating him with a wooden pole and a bottle. The two brothers also pressed a knee against the man’s neck. None can be named under Danish rules.
They have previously admitted to attacking the man, but they deny having intended to kill the victim.
Speculation that the killing could be racially motivated began after it emerged that the victim’s death bore some similarities to that of George Floyd, a Black man who died May 25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for several minutes even as Floyd pleaded for air. Floyd’s death has sparked protests around the world demanding racial justice and condemning police brutality.
The trial will be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 on Bornholm.