NY: investigation launched into police response to anti-gay attack in Hell's Kitchen
"We know there is a chilling effect when the community perceives police will not respond to anti-LGBT violence issues..We have to work with the police to understand what anti-LGBT violence looks like, but we also need to be clear with the police what the responses are Training has to be consistent and in all precincts."
— Sharon Stapel, executive director of the Anti-Violence Project in New York
Three men who happened to walk past a bar on Ninth Avenue in Manhattan were gay-bashed, but when officers responded, there was only no arrest, but no contact information of the perp or any notes were taken. (EDGE):
Three men who said they suffered an anti-gay attack over the weekend in Manhattan claim New York Police Department officers failed to adequately respond to it.
WPLJ DJ Blake Hayes told EDGE a man assaulted Broadway performer Danny Calvert and another friend as they walked past McCoy’s Bar on Ninth Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen early Saturday morning. Hayes said the incident began after the alleged perpetrator flicked a cigarette butt that hit his friend. He added the man said "keep moving, faggot" after his friend confronted him. Hayes said the man proceeded to shove Calvert into a parked car and punch his other friend in the mouth.
Hayes said NYPD officers quickly responded after he and his friends called 911. He maintains, however, they did not arrest the alleged perpetrator or even take his contact information.
"The police never wrote down a thing," Hayes alleged. "They never looked at ID from him-or any of us. They didn’t have any notepads out."
Christine Quinn, Speaker of the New York City Council, issued a statement on the assault.
Early Saturday morning there was a report of an anti-LGBT attack in Hell's Kitchen in which two individuals were the victims of a physical assault. I am obviously outraged by news that another bias attack has occurred in our city. But I am also deeply concerned by reports from the victims that NYPD officers responding to the scene did not appropriately recognize the seriousness of the incident. In fact, it has been reported that they failed to attempt to apprehend or even to collect contact information from the alleged assailant. If these reports are true, the behavior of the police officers involved was also outrageous and merits swift action by the police department.
In response I have spoken to Police Commissioner Kelly's office. They have agreed to conduct an investigation of these reports, and to have police officials meet personally with the victims this week. I am very gratified that the police department has agreed to my requests, and urge them to complete a swift and thorough investigation.
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. 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.
To their credit, the NYPD have demonstrated that they normally respond aggressively and appropriately to such crimes. But even one such failure can begin to undermine all of our collaborative and historic efforts. In addition, every victim deserves to have their incident taken as seriously as any other. I will continue to work with advocates and the NYPD to increase and expand training when needed, so police officers have the tools they need to respond appropriately to bias attacks.
I have to tell you it's pretty disgusting to see alleged non-action of law enforcement like this in deep Blue gay enclaves, but in some ways it's not surprising.
Below the fold, good advice from the NYC Anti-Violence Project outlining steps that you can take if you or someone you know is the victim of an anti-LGBT attack.
NYC ANTI-VIOLENCE PROJECT
24 HOUR BILINGUAL
HOTLINE: (212) 714-1141
What If It Happens to You?
A guide for Lesbian and Gay survivors of violent crimes
Eighty percent of lesbians and gay men have experienced some form of anti-gay or anti-lesbian bias-related violence.
Gay men and lesbians are more than four times more likely to become crime victims than heterosexuals.
Each year, thousands of gay and lesbian New Yorkers become victims of violent crime. Often we are assaulted by total strangers. Sometimes we are attacked by people we may know, including family members or lovers.
Many survivors of violence are reluctant to seek help from social service agencies, the police or the criminal justice system because they anticipate a hostile response to their sexual orientation or a lack of sensitivity to their specific needs. Others may simply be unaware of the services available to help them through the trauma of victimization.
AVP offers the following information for lesbian and gay survivors of violence.
Reactions to Victimization
There are many normal physical or psychological reactions to the trauma of victimization. Emotional reactions such as denial – trying to forget or pretend that the crime never happened – anger, isolation, fear, depression and problems with concentration are common.
Survivors of violent crime may also experience physical problems that seem unrelated to an assault such as head or stomach aches. Insomnia, change in appetite, sexual difficulties and general listlessness are also common physical changes suffered by crime victims.
Ignoring these symptoms may lead to further complications. If you have been victimized, you can call our hotline at 212-714-1141, for assistance.
You can also consider taking any of a number of steps:
• Get medical attention
Consult a physician or hospital emergency room, even if you do not believe that you have been seriously injured. Do this as soon after an assault as possible.
• Document the incident
Keep accurate records of an incident. Document physical injuries with photographs. retain any written harassment you receive. Keep a log of the time and date of harassing phone calls. if harassing messages have been left on your answering machine, keep the tape.
• Take care of yourself
Talking about the incident to supportive friends, lovers or family members can be helpful. Accept your feelings and reactions to the trauma. You may find it helpful to discuss the incident with a counselor at AVP. Call AVP to find out about resources available to you.
• Reporting Crimes to the Police
There is no requirement that you report a crime to the police. The decision about filing a report, called a "complaint" or "61" by the police, is yours as the survivor of a crime. Do what is most comfortable for you. Keep in mind that police reports are public record and under most circumstances can be released to the media.
If you wish to seek financial compensation from the New York State Crime Victims Board for medical expenses or lost earnings, a police report is required.
If the assault against you was bias-related – based on your race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation – the Police Department's Bias I
ncident Investigating Unit can be asked to handle your case.
If you decide to report a crime, an AVP advocate may be able to accompany you to the local precinct to provide assistance and support.
• Safety Information
You cannot insure that you will never become a crime victim. No crime victim is to blame for the crime committed against them. Nevertheless, these few safety tips may be helpful:
1. Find out about any local "danger zones" in the neighborhoods you frequent where lesbians and gay men may have been attacked. Avoid these areas especially if you are alone.
2. If you feel threatened or unsafe, trust your instincts and remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. Run. bang garbage cans. Make noise. Yell "FIRE!" Call 911 for police assistance as soon as possible.
3. Letting someone you do not know into your home or apartment make you vulnerable to robbery and assault. If you leave a bar with someone you have just met, introduce him or her to a friend or bartender. let other people know that you are leaving together. Exchange names and telephone numbers.
4. Women should be of men in "mixed" bars who claim to be gay and invite women to their homes. Be wary of taxis that wait outside of women's bars.
5. Try to leave bars, community centers and other LGTBH+ identified facilities with people you know or trust. Assailants sometimes wait for potential victims outside of places where Lesbians and Gay men meet and gather. (See Safe Dating Tips)
6. Carry a whistle. Consider taking a self-defense class.
• What We Can Do As a Community
Violence against lesbians and gay men affects everyone in our communities. Every attack against one of us is in reality an assault against us all.
The most effective way to deal with this violence is through community education and involvement.
Learn about the nature and extent of Anti-LGTBH+ violence and the services available through AVP and other social service agencies.
Call AVP to document attacks, get help, or request a speaker for your organization or community group.
AVP provides counseling, advocacy, information and referrals for survivors of anti-Lesbian and anti-Gay violence, sexual assault, domestic violence, and other types of victimization. All services are free and confidential. For more information please go to www.avp.org.