Baltimore Commish Leads Rally Against Anti-Gay Violence

ShawYesterday, to raise awareness of violence targeting gay people, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts declared, “I want to come together as a community and make sure we connect and do
the right things for every part of our community.”

“If there’s more that we can do, if there’s more that I can do, I am here to serve you,” he said at the rally, held outside the liquor store where Kenni Shaw was beaten on Christmas.(Before and after, seen at the right.)

The police can’t yet prove this was an anti-gay attack, and Batts told The Baltimore Sun the evidence does not point to one, but that does not mean that this is not a perfect opportunity to broaden Baltimore’s understanding of hate crimes.

Rally organizer Rev. Kinji Scott, a gay Baptist preacher, told the paper, “In our community in the past we’ve had people beat, raped and murdered, but we’ve not had much action in terms of violence against black gay men. [And] you have Kenni Shaw who is willing to stand up when most people are quiet and afraid.”

It wasn’t a particularly large rally – maybe about 40 people – but it’s a start, and Batts’ apparent commitment to using this as a positive, learning experience will hopefully make a huge impact.


  1. Francis says

    People don’t get outraged about these incidents (of any kind, not just anti-gay hate crimes) until it happens to them, someone they know, or in their area. Often people have their heads in the clouds and then as soon as a hate incident occurs, there is outrage. It’s unfortunate. We need to be vigil about this at all times but these hate crimes can happen anywhere, anytime.

  2. Yupp says

    “The Duke lacrosse guys did it!!! Because they’re sexist misogynist racist homophobic privileged white rich hetero male athletes!!!Put them in prison for life!!!! ‘Born this way, I was born this way..’ ” – Andrew Belonsky

  3. ratbastard says

    Listen up:

    Baltimore, D.C. down the road, have had and still have MAJOR urban violent crime issues, since at least the 1870s. It’s now something like 40 effing years of a bad urban violent crime wave in this country, especially in a handful of select cities. Vigils, outrage community ‘advocates’, and what-not ain’t cutting it.

    Here’s a quote from CBS Baltimore regarding the city’s 2012 murder rate:

    ‘Baltimore achieved something that hasn’t happened in 34 years: fewer than 200 murders…’ [it had 196 murders in 2011]

    D.C. had 108 murders in 2011, the lowest it’s been in many decades.

    That said:

    Baltimore city has a population of around 620,000 people, with a land area of around 81 square miles.

    Washington D.C. [just the district itself] has a population of around 618,000, with a land area of around 62 square miles

    COMPARE this to Boston [the city alone]:

    Population 625,000 with a land area of around 48 square miles.

    Boston had 63 murders in 2011, around the same in 2012.

    here’s a murder map listing ALL the murders, victims names, what they were murdered with, neighborhood, etc., for the past 4 years:

    D.C. was at it’s peak averaging between 400-500 murders a year.

    Baltimore at it’s peak was averaging 400 murders a year.

    Boston at it’s peak hit 152 in 1992.

    Want to know the whole story? STUDY DEMOGRAPHICS. YES, I know this is very upsetting to some people, it shouldn’t be, though. If you look at the murder map for Boston in the link I provided above, going back 4 years and listing the victim names, neighborhoods where they were murdered, and the instrument of death, it’s OVERWHELMINGLY predictable. Yes, I know, this is upsetting to point out for some people.

    Look at a few other high violent crime U.S. cities:

    St. Louis: Population 318,000, land area 62 square miles, around 140 murders in 2011.

    Here’s a quote from the river front times:

    ‘St. Louis Murder Rate on Pace With Last Year; Blacks Disproportionately Impacted’

    ‘Of the 103 murders this year, 90 of the victims have been African-American. Ten have been white. Other races fill in the balance. Another way of looking at those numbers: If you’re black in St. Louis, you’re nine times more likely this year to be murdered than if you’re white.*

    The most likely person to die on the streets of St. Louis is a black male between the ages of 25-29. Men in this category have accounted for 15 murders this year (or 14 percent of all homicides). Take black men between the ages of 20 and 40 out of the equation entirely, and the murder rate in St. Louis so far this year would plummet by nearly half — to just 53 homicides.’

    List of the 11 most dangerous U.S. cities for 2011, as compiled by

    1. St. Louis
    2. Atlanta
    3. Birmingham Alabama (tie)
    3. Orlando (tie)
    5. Detroit
    6. Memphis
    7. Miami
    8. Baltimore
    9. Kansas City, Missouri
    10. Minneapolis (tie)
    10. Cleveland (tie)

    I’d suggest going to each city’s wiki page to check out demographic trends, in addition to checking out their homicide maps, usually available from local media sources.

    The reason huge cities like L.A., Chicago, NYC, Houston aren’t on this list isn’t because they’re necessarily safe, it’s because they are so big, the violent crime is very diffuse, confined generally to a few neighborhoods. ALL big and small American cities follow a VERY PREDICTABLE violent crime pattern.

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