Tuesday, September 29, 2009

NYPD investigates allegations officers failed to adequately respond to anti-gay attack

News of yet another anti-gay attack in the city is certainly disturbing enough, but the revelation the police officers who responded to it reportedly failed to take it seriously are nothing short of shocking.

Blake Hayes told EDGE and other media outlets a man outside McCoy's Bar on Ninth Avenue in Hell's Kitchen shouted anti-gay epithets and attacked his two friends early Saturday morning as they walked by. He said the New York Police Department officers who responded failed to arrest the alleged perpetrator--or even take his contact information. And Hayes added officers at the nearby 18th precinct told his friends not to file a report.

"Once they got there [to the scene,] they had already made up their minds they weren’t going to deal with it," Hayes said.

The NYPD confirmed to Boy in Bushwick its Hate Crimes Task Force is conducting an investigation into the allegations. New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn expressed her concern in a statement her office released late Sunday.

"One of the most significant tools that have helped us to combat hate crimes here in New York City is having a strong police response to incidents when they occur," Quinn said. "There was a time in our city when victims of hate crimes did not feel that the police were their allies. Any time a crime of this nature occurs, victims need to know they will be taken seriously."

These allegations come two weeks after José Sucuzhañay's family called upon the NYPD to bring Keith Phoenix and Hakim Scott to trial. The two men allegedly killed Sucuzhañay on a Bushwick street corner last December as he and his brother Romel walked home arm-and-arm after a party.

Anti-LGBT attacks remain an obvious problem in the five boroughs and around the country. These allegations against the police, if proven true, simply exacerbate an already serious issue.

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