Last Saturday, while walking hand-in-hand with his male friend, 27-year old Jordan Smith was attacked by four men. The men yelled anti-gay obscenities as the wailed on Smith, who now needs jaw surgery.
Only one of the alleged attackers, Michael Kandola, has been arrested and faced a judge yesterday.
Despite the facts at hand – apparent anti-gay violence – Kandola’s lawyer insists his client was not motivated by hate, a motivation that brings harsher sentencing. It’s the police, says the lawyer, who are to blame:
…Lawyer Danny Markovitz said police prejudged the case.
“When the police investigate themselves they always ask people to keep an open mind, but in this case they are coming to rash judgments without any of the details coming before the court or the accused,” said Markovitz.
Const. Tim Fanning defended the police’s handling of the case. “All we’ve done is state the facts of the case,” he said. “Given the facts that we’ve gathered thus far, we believe that the hate crime legislation will be appropriate if he is convicted.”
Kandola currently faces common assault charges, but they could be raised if a medical examiner finds Smith’s injuries to be more severe.