does not compute

Why Is One of These Attacks a Hate Crime, While the Other One Isn’t?


Late Saturday night, former Village Voice sales rep Joseph Holladay was attacked on New York City’s Upper East Side by a half dozen young men in an apparent hate crime; the men were screaming anti-gay slurs while beating Holladay, who lay lifeless before a friend got him to a hospital. The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is involved in the investigation, and investigators have deemed the attack a hate crime. But a little over a week before, in the wee hours of June 19, transgender woman Leslie Mora was walking home from a nightclub in Queens when she was attacked by two men with a belt who screamed the word “faggot” at her in Spanish. According to the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, the attackers “stopped only when a passing motorist threatened to call the police.” The alleged suspects, Trinidad Tapia and Gilberto Ortiz, were arrested shortly after fleeing the scene. Except while the Queens County District Attorney charged the men with “assault with intent to cause physical injury with a weapon,” it’s refusing to investigate the attack as a hate crime. Under New York State Law, attacks qualify as hate crimes if they are based on actual or perceived sexual orientation.

(Thanks, Lena)

UPDATE: New York’s U.S. Sen. Thomas Duane says his office is aware of the case, and: “New York State’s Hate Crimes Law, which I fought hard to pass, clearly states that crimes in which individuals are targeted and attacked because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation are classified as hate crimes. Ms. Mora’s account of her assault appears to fit this definition. I expect the Queens District Attorney will expedite its investigation and pursue the case to the fullest extent of the law.” Not exactly a demand the DA treat this as a hate crimes case. DEVELOPING …