Police in Spokane, WA, say gay resident Danny Hawkins was the loser in a drunken brawl—not the victim of a hate crime, as he claims.
Responding to reports of a fight on Friday evening, officers spoke with Hawkins at the scene and maintain he never mentioned being attacked because of his sexuality. “Unless that information is given to the patrol officer at the time there’s no way for us to be able to investigate it as a hate crime,” a police spokesperson said. “The initial altercation in the parking lot started over the car and somebody hitting the car and then punches being thrown. Later somebody’s sexual orientation [came] to light, but that wasn’t the motivating factor.”
At a press conference on Saturday, Hawkins asserted he told police he was gay-bashed—and that they just didn’t take him seriously. “When I said that I wanted to report it as a hate crime, [the officer] shrugged it off and said, ‘You started it,'” he told KXLY-TV.
This is the third alleged anti-gay attack in as many weeks in the town. A representative for the Spokane police says they such allegations seriously and are currently investigating Hawkins’ claim.