Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Bigots Target Birthplace of Gay Rights Movement With Hate-Crime Wave

Stonewall Inn, NYC, site of one of many recent anti-gay attacks

Greenwich Village, New York City, New York – The Villager reports a “hate-crime wave” striking Greenwich Village, acknowledged widely as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ Rights Movement.  In the past two weeks, police and anti-violence advocates noted four violent attacks against patrons of gay bars.  A 45-year-old Queens man has been charged in the two most recent assaults with third-degree assault as a hate crime, and third-degree robbery for the attacks which both took place on October 11–just ten minutes apart.  Frederick Giunta allegedly punched a 31-year-old gay man in the face at Ty’s Bar on Christopher Street after grabbing the victim’s wallet.  Guinta then walked to Julius’ Bar on W. 159th and Waverly Place, where he allegedly attacked an African American bartender while shouting anti-gay and anti-black slurs at him.  According to The Villager, the suspect struck Greg Davis, 48, in the face while yelling at him, “What are you going to do?” and calling him a racial slur, then yelling at him, “You are a f—— faggot.” Sources in the police department told reporters that Guinta had a record of violence against gay men in the area since 2002, when he pleaded guilty to robbing a gay man he picked up at Rawhide Bar in Chelsea.  On October 4, two Staten Island men attacked a man in the restroom of the historic Stonewall Inn on Sheridan Square–but their intended victim fought back.  The New York Post reports that Matthew Francis, 21, and Christopher Orlando, 17, both of Staten Island, gay bashed a Washington, D.C. visitor to the Stonewall Inn with intent to harm and rob him.  Benjamin Carver, 34, their intended victim, fought back against the thugs, and drove them out of the restroom.  Carver and his boyfriend, with the assistance of the Stonewall Inn staff, threw the Staten Island men out of the bar.  Carver told the Post, “I was never afraid, throughout the whole experience.  To so many of these bullies, they think that gay people are an easy target, and that we’re just going to give in. Those two guys found out that night that’s not the case.” Carver and Orlando have been charged with assault as a hate crime and attempted robbery.  Choosing historic gay establishments like Stonewall Inn and Julius’s bar sends LGBT residents of the village an ominous warning: gay liberation is still a long time coming in the Empire State and the nation.  The Stonewall Inn was the scene of the outbreak of the Stonewall Uprising of June 1969, when street kids, lesbians, gay men, and drag queens fought back agains the oppression of the NYPD.  Julius’ Bar is the oldest continuing gay bar in Manhattan.  On October 1, 20-yer-old Andrew Jackson was arrested and charged with hate-crime assault and gang-related assault on three gay men on Ninth Avenue and 25th Street in Chelsea, just blocks away from the West Village bars where the later anti-gay attacks occurred.  Two other suspects are being sought by police in connection with the October 1 incident.  New York City Council Speaker, openly-lesbian Christine Quinn, credits the swift arrests in all these cases to the professionalism of the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.  Quinn told the Villager, “Tragically, this is just the most recent in a series of hate crimes to strike our city and neighborhoods in recent weeks.” New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Program’s Executive Director Sharon Stapel told the press, “This [October 11] attack underscores our need to stop the hate speech and anti-LGBTQ vitriol that results in this kind of attack.”

October 22, 2010 Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Chelsea, Gang violence, gay men, harassment, hate speech, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, Stonewall Inn, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bigots Target Birthplace of Gay Rights Movement With Hate-Crime Wave

   

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