When is a hate crime not a hate crime?

Apparently everyone except D.A. Steve Cooley thinks the West Hollywood beatings were anti-gay hate crimes.

According the D.A.'s own release, "Statement indicate the suspects wanted to 'rob rich white people'"

As in, "rob rich white people."

Why didn't they just say they wanted to rob "rich people?" Would they have tried to rob, say, Shaquille O'Neal, or would they have given him a free pass? Even if for some reason unknown to anyone else Cooley can't get them on anti gay hate crime, it would seem like he could get them on an anti-white hate crime. Except, I guess wanting to rob white people isn't a hate crime.

Ron Fineman makes the same point. I'm linking to him even though he won't link to my Newsbabes page. See, unlike me he's a serious journalist.