He SHOUTED IT OUT LOUD!
If it is STRICTLY "in his mind", then it is not a hate crime because there is no way to prove it.
The two teenagers in this thread did NOT make threats in that regard, and thus are not (provably) guilty of a hate crime!
Our legal system is BASED on "thought crimes". You can't convict someone of 1st degree murder without PROVING they INTENDED to kill the person they murdered. If you can't PROVE that, then it is 2nd degree murder, or manslaughter.
The article was quite clear that they couldn't prove the racial aspect to get a hate crime charge to stick. Plenty of other crimes will be charged, though, but there was no proof they were going after a particular race.
If they had somebody who, two blocks before, heard them say 'We're going to beat somebody up because they're white, brown or purple,' it might be different."