Friday, July 22, 2005

Handholders Harassed in Heartland

(Link) Kansas City, Missouri: Come for the barbecue. Stay for the beatings?


LNewsEditor said...

JIC Post:
By Mike Murphy
KC Indy Media

I'd like to spread the word to everyone about a hate crime that happened early Thursday morning, 7/14, on 39th Street in Kansas City. This is posted on KCindymedia because mobilizing the community -- or at least making everyone aware -- may be the only thing that could prevent this from happening again.
The terrible part of this story is that the women were harassed and beaten simply for holding hands in public. And the worst part of it is how the two Kansas City police officers who responded to their call for help decided to handle the situation.

The lesbian couple was attacked last night while walking home from Fric & Frac around 1 a.m. As they were leaving the restaurant holding hands, a car drove by and a woman began yelling anti-gay slurs.

The women ignored the shouting, but the car came back around toward the couple, and the passenger, a woman, jumped out with a large wooden club. A man, the driver, remained inside the car. The female attacker began beating the smaller of the two women while shouting anti-gay slurs, violently shoving the other lesbian to the ground.

The attacker fled only because flashing lights from a passing tow truck scared her off, leaving one of the women with a concussion and several serious cuts and bruises. Both women consider themselves fortunate not to have been beaten more seriously or even killed.

The women immediately called the police and the responding officers arrived shortly thereafter. The manner in which the women were treated by the police was unprofessional. One officer snapped at one of the victims, saying he "didn't have to come here tonight." The officers treated it as though it were not a hate crime by taking only the name of the woman who had been beaten, disregarding the input of the other. The woman who was beaten was asked why she couldn't remember many details and if she even wanted to bother filing a police report. The fact that these women had just suffered a terrible emotional trauma and were physically injured didn't seem to make much impact upon these officers.

This attack could well have happened to anyone, which is a terrifying thought. And to know these police officers regarded the incident as little more than a random assault instead of a hate crime should deeply concern us all.

pinkpurlgrrl said...

This is what I fear most; a moment of public incaution that leads to violence. This morning, as I do every morning, I kissed my partner goodbye. We were in our car outside of her office. A man walking by pulled a disgusted face at us and turned to stare. I smiled back at him, and did not even try to stare him down.

Yes, I did wait for her to get safely in her building before leaving for my own office.

so sad.

WordyGrrl said...

Indeed, PinkPurl. Sad and scary, too. Next time you see the ol' crank, give your honey a beeg ol' sloppy smooch just for the sheer drama. Heh.

On a side note, you gotta wonder how many of these bashings never even get reported for fear of retaliation or outing in a small town.