Iowa woman receives 25 years in prison for hitting children with car due to their race

Nicole Poole Franklin will serve 25 years in prison for hitting two children with her car because of their race. File Photo courtesy of Clive Police Department

Aug. 21 (UPI) — An Iowa woman who told police she ran over two children with her car and attempted to kill them because of their race was sentenced to 25 years in prison Friday, the Justice Department said.

Nicole Poole Franklin, 43, received 304 months in prison for each of two counts of hate crimes acts. The two sentences are to be served concurrently to each other and to the sentence she received in a related state case.

She pleaded guilty to the charges in April.

Police said Franklin told officers she intentionally drove her vehicle onto a sidewalk in Des Moines, Iowa, toward two children she believed to be of Middle Eastern or African descent. She said their race was the reason she targeted them.

A 12-year-old boy was injured in the attack, sustaining cuts, bruises and swelling. His sibling was uninjured.

About 30 minutes later near a junior high school in Clive, Iowa, she again drove her vehicle up onto a sidewalk, hitting a 14-year-old girl she believed to be of Mexican descent. The teen sustained “serious” injuries, according to the Justice Department, including a concussion, bruises and cuts.

“Nicole Poole Franklin attempted to kill two children because of the way they looked and where she believed they came from,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Civil Rights Division.

“This kind of egregious racial violence and hatred has absolutely no place in this country and will not be tolerated by the Justice Department. Children deserve to walk the streets of their neighborhood without fear of violence because of what they look like and where they come from and deserve to grow up in a world where they are not targeted simply because of who they are.”


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