News :: Crime

Atlanta Gang Hate Crime Caught on Video, Victim Speaks Out

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Thursday Feb 9, 2012
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A video of an Atlanta gang attacking a 20-year-old gay man went viral this week. Members of the gang were filmed viciously beating the victim as he walked out of a grocery store while someone yelled, "No faggots in Jack City." "Jack City" refers to the gang’s name, "Pittsburgh Jack City Gang."

Three men punched and kicked Brandon White as he left the store, which caused him to fall to the ground. Another person then dropped a tire on him.

Other videos have surfaced including two that came from the store’s surveillance cameras, Atlanta local NBC outlet Channel 11 reported. The videos show that at least one of the alleged gang members was waiting outside the grocery store to jump White.

The Atlanta police got hold of the video and a spokesman told the Smoking Gun that the link to the clip was sent to the department’s gang division and the unit that investigates anti-LGBT crimes. The local police department as well as federal investigators are currently investigating the attack.

A number of LGBT rights groups and supporters were horrified by the incident.

"There were gay slurs thrown toward him," said Devin Barrington-Ward, a gay rights activist, told 11alive. "There were punches. There were kicks. These young men committed a hate crime. There shouldn’t be a debate about that."

Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) mentioned the incident in a statement about CNN’s Roland Martin, who tweeted an anti-gay and violent tweet regarding a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.

"If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!" Martin wrote.

"Yesterday afternoon, a video of a young man being brutally assaulted after exiting a grocery store was posted on LGBT news sites," GLAAD said in a statement. "As the perpetrators beat and kicked their victim, the attackers screamed "Fa**ot" as well as other anti-gay slurs. This is what ’smacking the ish’ out of someone for being gay can look like." The last sentence was linked to the video of the attackers assaulting White.

White decided not to stay silent about the incident and held a news conference to speak about the crime.

"He is doing what a lot of us would never do. He is standing up with courage," Greg Smith, the executive director of the HIV Intervention Project told members of the Atlanta Black LGBT Collation, CBS Atlanta reported.

"Understand this, he is saying, ’I want to do something. Don’t treat me like a victim.’ His issue is everybody keeps looking at him like he was weak. He is not weak. Don’t treat him like he is weak. Don’t treat him like he is broken. Ain’t nothing wrong with him besides his courage being broken. He wants to stand up and do something," Smith told the crowd.

Smith told CBS Atlanta that White’s mother encouraged him to go to police and that he shouldn’t "sit around and be a victim."

During the news conference White said that he left home after the attack and has not returned out of fear. He said, "If a straight person can walk to the store and not have a problem then I should be able to feel the same."

"I could have died that day. Anyone could have died that day. They don’t know what they do to people. They’re monsters," White said about his attackers.

Watch the video of the attack below (warning: the video contains violent content):


Comments

  • nick, 2012-02-09 21:29:29

    No GLBT person is safe in this day and age when incidents like this are occurring ANYWHERE in our country. All of those congregants in those anti-gay black churches should be forced to watch this and accept responsibility. SHAME!


  • Anonymous, 2012-02-10 10:01:44

    It was the only way In the 60’s to get white racists to accept their responsibility...now is no different...racism = homophobia...if racism is not acceptable to anti-gay black churches then so is homophobia...or perhaps those churches wish to return to those old days of racism to remind them what it feels like?


  • Anonymous, 2012-02-10 15:36:54

    As long as people in the media are allowed to spread homophobia things like this will happen everyday in this country CNN should fire Roland Martin and people should stop attending Tracy Morgan’s show at the end of the day is about the money , we they have it they talk shit about others and when they don’t they want you to listen to them and to pay to see them , gay people should stop attending reggae and rap concerts and buying their music as well the message is clear if you don’t like who I am you wont be getting my money to make you richer and give you more power to discriminate against me and what I represent fuck that shit.


  • david wilkerson, 2012-02-11 11:06:48

    Easy with reducing this race an phobia. The race is of no consequence. Violence is a phenomena unique to human beings. Only human beings can stop it. We must view any notions that separate people as evil. People fear what they do not understand. Violence comes from a lack of self identity.


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