Hate Crime Hub




Suspect In Drunken Anti-Gay Assault In Dallas Will Not Face Hate Crimes Charges, Jail Time: READ

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A drunken traveler at Dallas Fort-Worth Airport who assaulted a man he believed was gay while shouting anti-gay epithets will not face jail time and will not face hate crimes charges, Lone Star Q reports. The suspect is identified as McCleish Christmas Benham:

[Benham is] charged with public intoxication and simple assault, both class-C misdemeanors each punishable by a maximum $500 fine, but no jail time.

However, if prosecutors choose to utilize Texas’ hate crimes law, they could enhance the assault charge to a class-B misdemeanor. Class-B misdemeanors are punishable by 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine per offense.

Reports of the assault document that Benham belligerently shouted that he was angry about "queers": “That’s what I’m upset about. This faggot right here,” he said referring to another passenger. 

Police today have released their official report on the incident. After police were called to Benham's terminal as a result of his intoxicated behavior, the report indicates Benham called a man a "'San Frisco Faggot' and then punched him in his right eye." At that point, "Benham then began threatening a different male passenger." When asked by police arriving on the scene if he had had anything to drink, Benham replied, “Yes, 100 drinks."

Read the police report for yourself, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Canadian Councillor's Campaign Signs Vandalized, Sprayed 'Homophobe'

Jeff earle

A candidate for a seat on the city council in Brockville, Ontario, has had five election campaign posters defaced, one of them with the word “homophobe” in black spray paint, reports The Recorder. 1297620912487_ORIGINAL

Jeff Earle, a council veteran of 23 years, is convinced the “homophobe” charge stems from a vote last February preventing debate on a motion to fly the rainbow flag behind city hall during the Winter Olympics.

A unanimous vote was required to get the motion to the floor. Earle, the only councillor to oppose hearing the motion, says he blocked the vote because of a desire to keep politics out of the Olympics.

 

Earle, who says the vandalism should be treated as a hate crime, resents being tarred as a homophobe because of that vote:

“I treat it as a hate crime. For them to label that, I find it a little offensive. That vote was not about whether you support individuals.”

City police are currently investigating.

In June, Ontario elected its first female and lesbian premier Kathleen Wynne.

[sign photo via Ronald Zajac/The Recorder and Times]


LGBT Hate Crimes Bill Advances in Philly As Statewide Bill Stalls in Harrisburg

Mixed news out of Pennsylvania this week as the city of Philadelphia moved forward with a bill adding LGBT protections to hate crimes laws while a similar, statewide bill stalled in committee at the capitol in Harrisburg. 

Philadelphia Gay News reports:

BrownThe Public Safety Committee of Philadelphia City Council on Tuesday unanimously passed Bill 140720, which adds a new chapter to the Philadelphia Code to provide for additional penalties for criminal conduct motivated by hatred regarding sexual orientation, gender identity and disabilities.

The bill, sponsored by Councilmembers Blondell Reynolds-Brown and Jim Kenney, was scheduled to receive a first reading before the full Council on Thursday. Then, the public will be given a week to submit comments before a second reading will occur and a final vote can be taken.

Given that the bill passed from the committee with a favorable recommendation, Reynolds-Brown said she was optimistic her colleagues will approve the legislation.

“I feel positive it will pass in every way — absolutely,” she said. “The state has run into a brick wall. Given the testimony we have heard today, and the very insightful questions that were raised, I am confident that it will move to the mayor’s desk and become law.”

In Harrisburg, meanwhile, legislators failed to bring Rep. Brendan Boyle's bill up for a last minute House vote this week. PGN reports only once scheduled session day remains (November 12) and it not been announced yet if lawmakers will even meet that day. 

A December court date has been set for the three suspects charged in the September 11 attack on a gay couple in Center City, Philly that catalyzed these efforts to amend the state and local hate crimes laws. 


U.S. Marine Identified, Charged in Murder of Filipina Transwoman

PembertonJoseph Scott Pemberton [pictured right] has been identified as the U.S. Marine connected to the murder of Jennifer Laude Sueselbeck, a 26 year-old transgender Filipina woman [pictured below]. Pemberton, 19, is a private first class from New Bedford, Massachusetts and a recent high school graduate. While Filipino authorities have filed murder charges against Pemberton, Marine officials have said that he will remain within U.S. custody.

"Under the Visiting Forces Agreement, the custody of the erring soldier stays with the Americans," said General Gregorio Catapang, head of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. “[This incident will] not affect our relationship with the United States.”

Though the Marines have expressed that they will coordinate with Filipino authorities, LGBT rights groups have called for a temporary suspension of the Visiting Forces Agreement to ensure that Pemberton will be held accountable.

"We call for the immediate junking of the Visiting Forces Agreement,” the Bayan Queer Caucus intoned in a written statement. “[It has] been proven to not protect the rights of the Filipino people but are in favor of protecting the U.S. troops and its imperialist power."

The Associated Press adds:

LaudePolice suspect Pemberton may have been angered when he discovered in the motel room that Laude was a transgender individual or because of an argument sparked by other reasons.

Activists have held almost daily protests demanding that the U.S. hand over Pemberton to Philippine authorities and calling for the abolition of the Visiting Forces Agreement. The agreement allows U.S. forces to join large-scale combat exercises with Filipino troops and permits the U.S. to take custody of its soldiers who run afoul of Philippine laws.


Man Wanted In Anti-Gay Hammer Attack In Brooklyn

Brooklyn

A man in Crown Heights, New York was savagely attacked Tuesday morning by a "hammer-wielding assailant" who shouted anti-gay slurs at his victim, leaving him with a fractured skull and several gashes to his head. As DNAinfo reports, New York police are investigating the assault as a hate crime:

Mitch Pope, 33, was walking back home from a coffee run Monday morning when a man he said he had never seen before followed him into his lobby of his apartment building at Washington Ave. near Sullivan Place in Crown Heights and suddenly went berserk.

"When I came to the front door I noticed there was a guy behind me with a black trash bag and I opened [the door] just assuming that he was doing construction in the building. As I soon as I let him in, I was about to walk up the stairs, he hit me in the back of the head with a hammer," Pope told DNAinfo Tuesday.

“I fell backwards and then he got on top of me and continued to hit me. And that’s when I started screaming because I feared for my life," said Pope, who said the man used homophobic slurs during the attack.

"He was saying ‘fa--ot’ over and over again while he was hitting me. I literally thought he was going to take my life,” Pope said. “It was horrifying.”

Pope, who is gay, said the attacker continued to rain down blows with the hammer, which he tried to deflect with his hands. But as Pope's shouts threatened to summon the neighbors, the man got scared, stole his phone, and ran off, he said.

Though no suspect has yet been identified by police, New York's Hate Crimes Task Force has released surveillance footage of the man they believe to be the attacker exiting the building (pictured above). You can watch the brief clip HERE. The suspect is described as tall wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt and Timberland boots.


NYC Transgender Woman In Critical Condition Following Hate Crime Attack: VIDEO

Suspects

New York police are hunting for four men who beat a 28-year-old transgender woman unconscious in Brooklyn on Sunday night, reports the Daily News. Two of the suspects are pictured above, captured on a local store's surveillance camera.

Bushwick and halsey new york mapThe woman, a client of New Alternatives for Homeless LGBT Youth, was attacked on Bushwick Ave. and Halsey St. at around 11:20 p.m.

According to witnesses, the victim was nearing the corner when the attackers started yelling "faggot." When the woman yelled back, the group followed her, kicking her repeatedly until she fell to the ground. Reported to be in a critical condition, she was struck with a plexiglass board and knocked unconscious while on the ground.

New Alternatives executive director Kate Barnhart said that it is not clear if the victim will have permanent brain damage.

The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Last month, police in New York arrested and charged two men and a teenage boy with menacing, third-degree hate crime and assault in the first degree after they chased and shot at a gay man in Brooklyn. The victim was dressed as a woman at the time of the attack.

Watch a CBS New York report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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