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San Diego, Where Being Called ‘Faggot’ During a Gay Bashing Doesn’t Make It a Hate Crime

Jacob Harshbarger, the San Diego man called a “fucking faggot” during a Halloween gay bashing he suffered while walking his dogs, might see his assailants meet some justice: 23-year-olds Michael Brandon and Christopher Blount have been charged with felony battery counts. Police initially called the attack a matter of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” and not a hate crime. It appears they’re sticking to it: prosecutors aren’t levying any hate crime element to the charges.

Meanwhile a second San Diego attack is being reported, with Martin Niwinski (pictured) and Daniel Crawford getting beat up the following day after Crawford was called “faggot” while dressed up as Freddie Mercury. Neither men are gay, which has Det. Gary Hassen brushing off any hate crime element, because while “a disparaging remark was made … he [Crawford] was sitting with his girlfriend. He is not gay, and as such, can not be a victim of a hate crime.”

What was that about perceived sexual orientation?

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14 Comments

  • Kev C

    San Diego cops need some type of education. Maybe a tersely worded letter from HRC would do it.

  • samthor

    bash back. obviously we can’t trust the police, start carrying weapons.

  • Lucas

    @samthor: Agree wholeheartedly

  • the crustybastard

    Luckily we have a shiny new hate crimes law.

    Let’s watch it kick into action.

  • adman

    WTF? Goddamn, are straight people fucking stupid? What part about conveying a threat to an entire community via violent crime is so hard for them to understand? The freakin’ queers don’t need to actually be there witnessing the beating, for fucks sake! If a cross burns on my lawn, and nobody but me sees it, am I only entitled to the small claims court settlement for damages to my grass, or is the guy who fucking burned it a Klan member trying to send a message? Unfucking real. SoCal can just freakin’ explode in a fireball, and I was raised there.

  • McMike

    @samthor: Couldn’t agree more. I think we need to have more of us willing to die for this cause. Be out, proud and ready to go down for the count if someone starts their homophobic crap. Homophobes are the biggest cowards and if more of us were willing to die for this cause (ie, make sure if a homophobe starts a fight someone isn’t going to be getting up from that fight) then things might change. The day we see a news item about a gay man beating the living crap out of a homophobe who attacked him is the day the tide will turn, IMHO.

  • John

    @McMike: The day I read that in a newspaper I will have the biggest grin on my face. XD I guess its gonna be a second civil war soon. Gays Vs. Homophobes. BRING IT.

  • tavdy79

    IIRC, the Matthew Shepard Act allows the FBI to take over an investigation if it believs it’s a hate crime and the local police either can’t or as in this case) won’t deal with it as such.

  • customartist

    This is what the FBI is for – when local authorities do not apply the law appropriately.

    If the INYENT was to harm gays, then it is indeed a Hate crime.

  • Lucas

    Where are our law groups at? They should be all over this one

  • Hyhybt

    One potential trouble: it’s relatively easy to prove what he did, much harder to prove what he said while doing it.

  • customartist

    This is just like rape. When it is one person’s word against another, then the victim’s word must be the default position.

    The burden of proof must be upon the attacker.

    So publish the attackers name(s).

  • Hyhybt

    @customartist: No. The concept of “innocent until proven guilty” is too valuable to give up, even for this.

Comments are closed.