Authorities in Alabama have announced that arrests will be made in the case of a high school student who was allegedly attacked for writing Facebook posts supporting Blue Lives matter.
Brian Ogle, 17, a student at Sylacauga High School, was badly beaten after a football game in what his mother Brandi Hill Allen described as a hate crime.
"Apparently he was hit with something — what is presumed to be the butt of the pistol on his face," she told ABC 3340.
"He has stitches and he's got bruising, real bad bruising on his shoulder. There's a lot of wounds on the back of his head from being hit as well."
"Instead of us planning for his 18th birthday, we're here. Why? Because he made a statement that he backs the blue.
"I'm trying to understand how anyone — I don't care the colour of their skin — could do this to another human being."
The incident is believed to have followed tensions at the school in the aftermath of several high-profile police shootings.
It is thought Ogle made social media posts supporting Blue Lives Matter after demonstrations organised by the group Black Lives Matter - although police have yet to establish whether this motivated the attack, and have categorically ruled out the involvement of BLM in the incident.
The Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter groups are viewed by some as being in direct conflict with the ideals of Black Lives Matter.
In a statement, Sylacauga chief of police Kelley B. Johnson said: "SPD investigators have met with the Talladega County District Attorney in attempt to obtain warrants on those we consider suspects.
"This is not a case that can be closed out like an episode of "Law and Order". This is real life and a real crime takes time to do all of the work to make a rock solid case.
"SPD and the DA's office wants a case that is solid. At this time, we are trying to tie up some loose ends that were seen by our prosecutors office. I can't say how long this will take, but when those ends are tied, we will be making arrests in this case."
Johnson added the attack would be only described as a hate crime if it could be proved by the district attorney that it warranted such classification and asked people to tone down their language while discussing the topic on social media sites.
"I ask all responsible adults to please stop the negative posts on social media. Our community will never come together as long as your posts are racially motivated," he said.
His comments came after a fight broke out at the high school, reportedly linked with the attack on Ogle, prompting police to investigate the incident.