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(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Days before the United States Senate is set to vote on federal legislation to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from hate violence, a shocking new security camera video was released this morning showing the brutality of hate violence. The video, aired exclusively this morning on the local NY ABC affiliate, WABC, shows a Queens, NY gay man being horrifically beaten last Thursday in what New York police have classified an anti-gay hate crime. The video can be viewed on WABC’s website at http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=7062514 .
“Literally days before a Senate vote, this video is a shocking reminder of why hate crimes laws, like the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Act, are crucial law enforcement tools for combating violence,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “A federal hate crime law not only ensures police are provided with the tools they need, but also sends a message from the highest level of our government that we as a country will not tolerate this type of brutality against our neighbors. It is my hope that every Senator watches this video and understands that far too many LGBT Americans live with the daily fear that it could have just as easily happened to them.”
Last Thursday, 49-year-old Jack Price, an openly gay man living in Queens, New York was attacked right outside of his home by two individuals yelling anti-gay slurs. The assailants brutally beat Price, causing him to suffer a broken jaw, fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, lacerated spleen and had to be placed in a medically induced coma.
New York police have categorized the attack as an anti-gay hate crime. Daniel Aleman, 26, of New York and Daniel Rodriguez, 21, of Norfolk, Virginia have both been arrested in the case. Aleman has already been arraigned on charges of Assault and Aggravated Assault as a Hate Crime.
New York is one of 31 states with hate crimes laws that protect individuals based on sexual orientation. Only 12 states have laws that protect on both sexual orientation and gender identity. Although New York has a state hate crimes law on the book, the federal hate crimes legislation known as the Matthew Shepard Act, if passed, would allow New York state officials to appeal to the U.S. Department of Justice for additional assistance in the investigation and prosecution of the crime.
If this crime had occurred in any state regardless of existing a hate crimes laws, or lack thereof, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Act, if passed, would not only allow local law enforcement to appeal for additional assistance from the U.S. Department of Justice, but it would also ensure that the Department could step in when local authorities turn a blind eye to violence against the LGBT community.
Openly gay, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, along with other state officials gathered in Queens on Monday to speak out against the attack.
“You grow tired of doing these press conferences,” said Quinn in an October 12 interview with the New York Times. “Crimes like this are very sad.”