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Activists Push For Hate Crime Designation in Brutal Knoxville Beating


The Tennessee Equality Project is pushing law enforcement in Knoxville, Tennessee to prosecute the brutal attack of a local gay man, David Keck, as a hate crime. Keck was savagely beaten by suspect Dennis Wilder after Keck allegedly made sexual advances towards Wilder. The report of the night's events is according to Wilder who turned himself into police after beating Keck unconscious and stealing $100 in cash from him along with his car. WVLT reports:

According to witnesses, two men, identified as Wilder and David Keck, left Bullfeathers Bar and headed to Keck's place at the Brendon Park apartments off Cedar Bluff.

Wilder is quoted in a police report telling officers he had hit Keck "several times" after David came on to him sexually at the apartments.

When police showed up, they found David Keck "beaten unconscious," and say Wilder told them he was afraid he'd killed Keck.

Keck is currently suffering from short term memory loss due to the heinous attack. Wilder does not currently face any hate crimes charges, only aggravated robbery chargers, a fact the Tennessee Equality Project is looking to change:

"Thankfully because Tennessee does have sexual orientation under hate crime law the D.A. can ask for enhancement, which would be a stricter penalty as well," [said Gwen Schablik, the Tennessee Equality Project Committee Chair for Anderson, Knox and Blount Counties.]

The Knoxville Police Department says it is unlikely the district attorney's office will bring hate crime charges against Wilder.

Wilder is scheduled to be in court on Friday.

Keck shared the images above with WVLT "because he wants us to show and tell his story."

Knoxville, TN Mayor Gets Wild Cheer for Telling LGBT Pride Crowd 'It's Okay to Say Gay' - VIDEO


In Tennessee, where anti-LGBT legislation is the norm rather than the exception, it's refreshing to see Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero touting her administration's inclusiveness and making jabs at Stacey Campfield's "Don't Say Gay" bill.

"I have purposely and strategically put together a very diverse and inclusive leadership team and with City Council we have begun to tackle these issues head on. That's why in April I announced a non-discrimination ordinance that would ensure that the city did not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. I am so very proud that our City council passed that with a vote of 9-0. In our City Hall, it's okay to say gay."


Continue reading "Knoxville, TN Mayor Gets Wild Cheer for Telling LGBT Pride Crowd 'It's Okay to Say Gay' - VIDEO" »


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