Monday, February 6, 2012

UPDATE — Video of gruesome Southwest Atlanta gang attack hits the Internet

Posted By on Mon, Feb 6, 2012 at 3:20 PM

UPDATE — The Atlanta Police Department released the following statement at around 3 p.m.:

“The Atlanta Police Department is working to determine more about the attack depicted in this video, including attempting to identify the victim and the perpetrators. We are also working to determine if the victim filed a police report, or if police were called to the scene. We have engaged investigators and officers in Zone 3 - where the incident appears to have taken place - the Gangs Unit and the Homeland Security Unit, which investigates bias crimes. Our LGBT liaisons have also been made aware of the video. We encourage the victim to come forward to discuss the incident with investigators. If anyone else has information about this video, or can identify the victim and/or perpetrators, we encourage them to call Atlanta Police in Zone 3 at 404-624-0674 or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS (8477).”

Also, local LGBT activists are planning a protest, rally and vigil "to demonstrate that these type of acts of hate will not be tolerated towards the LGBTQ community."

Devin Barrington-Ward of Change Atlanta said, “Atlanta is commonly known as the black gay Mecca, thousands of black gay men from around the world leave their homes to come to Atlanta for a better life, for increased accepted and for their safety. This act directly rocks the very foundation of our city, a city that is the birth place of the civil rights movement which strived for all people to be accepted and to live without fear of being harmed due to who they are."

Supplemental reading: CL's 2010 cover story about "bias crimes" perpetrated against members of the LGBT community.

In broad daylight, outside a convenience store on busy McDaniel Street in Pittsburgh, a group of several men repeatedly hit and kicked a man to whom they refer as a "faggot."

A 30-second video of the attack — which was taken down within the last hour or so pursuant to You Tube's violence policy — first appeared on the website World Star Hip Hop and was later featured by The Smoking Gun. I was able to watch the video once before it was taken down, but here's basically what it shows:

[T]he video opens with an unseen cameraman and a second man outside the grocery store. The second man announces, “Round one. Jack City. No faggots.” Then, after a diminutive man exits the grocery, an assailant approaches him from behind and delivers a brutal punch to the side of the victim’s head. The man’s cell phone flies from his hand and he crumples to the ground.

APD spokesman Carlos Campos told CL, "The video was brought to the attention of the Public Affairs Unit by The Smoking Gun. We are working now to learn more about it and hope to have some sort of statement soon."

The Smoking Gun calls the assailants members of a gang known as the "Pittsburgh Jack City Gang," not, presumably, to be confused with the "Jack Boys," a group that was indicted for a string of crimes last year, including the November 2010 murder of Charles Boyer outside his Virginia-Highland apartment complex.

Updates as we get them.

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