The event has been recorded as the first case of violence at the city’s annual Pride festival in its 43-year history. It comes just three years after the festival was moved to downtown Detroit from nearby Ferndale.
In the video below, 20-year-old stylist Christin Howard is seen being tossed to the ground and physically assaulted simultaneously by a group of five to eight unidentified men. Howard claims that the group circled him while he was taking a picture with a friend in Detroit’s Riverwalk park, yelling homophobic slurs and criticizing his long hair.
Howard was beaten for nearly a minute while concerned bystanders are seen using their phones. The excessive hitting and kicking resulted in a bloody eye, abrasions on his face, and a broken finger.
Although it’s not visible in the video, Howard says one of the men claimed to have a gun. “I thought I was gonna die,” he tells WXYZ. “At one point, I thought they were going to kill me.”
Detroit police are investigating the incident as a hate crime. At the time of posting, none of the assailants in the video had been identified. Those with information regarding the incident are being urged to contact the DPD at 313-267-4600.