Mayoral Candidate Christine Quinn, Speaker of the NYC Council, announced a five-point plan to keep the city’s LGBT population safe after a spate of vicious hate crimes targeting LGBT New Yorkers. The move comes even as hate crimes as a whole are down across the city are down, but there has been a horrific jump in the number of crimes based on sexual orientation.
According to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly this past Tuesday, “Hate crimes are down this year, almost 30%, but anti-gay hate crimes are up over 70%.”
Those comments came after a gay couple were assaulted in the SoHo district by two men who shouted homophobic slurs and one of them sustained an eye injury. Two men- Fabian Ortiz and Pedro Jimenez, were both arrested and charged with assault.
The day before, Roman Gornell “became enraged, and yelled anti-gay expletives” as he beat a gay man into unconsciousness. The two had been drinking together when the victim revealed he was gay.
Current Mayor Michael Bloomberg addressed the rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes on Tuesday stating “No person – regardless of what they look like or who they love – should ever walk down the street in fear.” The past two weeks has seen five crimes against LGBT people. The most violent was the shooting death of Marc Carson.
Carson was killed in Greenwich Village by a gunman who made homophobic remarks before shooting. That shooter, Elliot Morales, is facing second-degree murder as a hate crime.
Hoping to deter further hate crimes, the NYPD set up temporary headquarter command vehicles in the various LGBT neighborhoods through at least the end of June, when the city holds its Pride celebrations.
Kelly stated on Tuesday that “Investigators say there’s no pattern in these types of crimes. These types of crimes are outrageous. And we are going to do everything in our power to see to it that they certainly don’t occur but if they do occur we’re going to very aggressively investigate them and bring people to justice.”
The rise in hate crimes against LGBT Americans comes as visibility for the Community is growing across the nation and acceptance of LGBT people grows across the United States. It was something that has been warned about in the past.