Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Dallas Police To Investigate Cedar Springs Area Ball Bat Attack as a Hate Crime

photo courtesy Dallas News

Dallas, TX – In an important change in attitude and approach concerning the late Friday night/Saturday morning assault on two gay men by bat swinging attackers, the Dallas Police Department has released a statement dated May 17 indicating that the case is to be investigated as a “hate crime.”  Apparently, a combination of rational reasoning and responsiveness to a groundswell of protest in the LGBT community led authorities to change course on this dangerous incident just two and a half blocks from the main gay entertainment district in Dallas.  The Cedar Springs-Wycliff corridor has been particularly violent in recent months, and has a particularly bloody history of anti-LGBT attacks and murder stretching back over two decades.  Historically, homophobic elements have targeted gays and lesbians in the “gayborhood,” and this most recent attack is an ominous sign that young men who are hateful, ignorant and insecure are coming to the neighborhood to locate victims again.  Police initially told WFAA.com that the baseball bat beating of  Kyle Steven Wear and his companion Alex would not be investigated as an anti-gay hate crime, since the pair were robbed. Both victims reported to police and the media that they were not only assaulted physically, but were subject to hate speech during the attack, being called “faggots” among other derogatory slurs by their assailants.  Most current merchants and visitors to the gay entertainment district are unaware that the Oak Lawn-Cedar Springs-Reverchon Park area of Dallas has been bloodied far too often by violence against LGBT people.  In 1988, John Griffin and Tommy Trimble, two gay men, were picked up at the Crossroads by Richard Lee Bednarski, an 18-year-old high school student from Mesquite, who drove them the short distance to Reverchon Park where he shot them to death.  The judge in the case gave Bednarski only a 30-year sentence for the cold-blooded murders, commenting that the killings were insignificant since the victims were gay.  In 1991, Thanh Nguyen and Hugh Calloway were gunned down by Corey Ardell Burley, 20, and two other accomplices at Reverchon Park.  Calloway survived to testify against Burley, but Nguyen, a Vietnamese immigrant to the Dallas area, died as a result of his wounds.  Initially, Dallas police refused to classify the murder as hate-motivated, but Burley confessed that he targeted the gay men because they were “weak.”  Jimmy Lee Dean, a self-identified bisexual man, was nearly killed in 2008 by 26-year-old Bobby Jack Singleton and 31-year-old Jonathan Russell Gunter, both of Garland, at the corner of Dickason and Throckmorton Streets. Robberies and assaults by thugs targeting young gay men along the Strip are far more frequent than merchants and residents would care to admit, including an attack on a minor on Cedar Springs in the early Spring of this year whose complaint to Dallas police was minimized because, as one officer told the youth, he was just a “drunk little faggot,” and deserved what he got. It is some measure of hope that the Dallas Police have either chosen to change their approach to the homophobic robbery of the two most recent gay victims of violence in the gayborhood, or have been coerced into it by the growing outcry from the local LGBT community.  In part, the Dallas Police Department bulletin entitled “Weekend Robberies to be Investigated as Hate Crimes” reads: “Early Saturday morning just after midnight, two 28 year old males were walking to a nightclub in the 2700 block of Throckmorton Street when they were confronted by four unknown Latin male suspects. Two of the suspects were carrying bats. All four suspects began to beat the victims with the bats and their hands while robbing the victims of their property. Both victims sustained non life threatening injuries. These offenses are documented on case numbers 134186-X and 134193-X. Based on derogatory statements made by the suspects during the commission of the robberies, these two offenses will be investigated as hate crimes. There have been no suspects identified at this time and detectives are continuing to interview witnesses.

May 18, 2010 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Asian Americans, Beatings and battery, bi-phobia, Bisexual persons, Blame the victim, Bludgeoning, gay men, gay teens, gun violence, harassment, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, hate crimes prevention, Heterosexism and homophobia, Latino and Latina Americans, Law and Order, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Stomping and Kicking Violence, Texas, transgender persons, transphobia, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Dallas Police To Investigate Cedar Springs Area Ball Bat Attack as a Hate Crime


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