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Community stands up to beating of Kenni Shaw

Silent March for Victims of GLBT Violence, Columbia Heights, hate crimes, gay news, Washington Blade

Members of the community protest anti-gay hate crimes in Columbia Heights on Mar. 20, 2012. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

About 40 people gathered at the foot of the Washington Monument on the evening of Dec. 30 in reaction to the attack and beating of Kenni Shaw, a 30-year-old gay man, in East Baltimore on Christmas night.

Shaw was punched from behind around 9 p.m. on Christmas night as he left a liquor store at E. Hoffman and N. Rose Streets in East Baltimore. He was bloodied and sustained bruises to his face and body from the beating that ultimately lasted about 10 minutes and included five, perhaps six, men. Shaw was left lying face down on the pavement as the attack continued.

Shaw, a cosmetologist, told the Blade that he believes this was a hate crime and wants to speak out to help others in the community.

Delegate Mary Washington (D-43), the only elected official present, introduced herself to the crowd by saying, “I am your delegate. When you knock us down we multiply.”


Activists march after gay man’s beating

Kenni Shaw, gay news, Washington Blade, Baltimore, hate crime

Kenni Shaw (Photo courtesy of Shaw via Instagram)

A march to protest the beating of Kenni Shaw, 30, an African-American gay man, and violence directed toward the LGBT community in general took place on Jan. 5. It included a diverse group of about 50 activists and officials.

Shaw was attacked from behind by at least five men on Christmas night as he left an East Baltimore liquor store. He sustained bruises to his face and body from the beating that lasted for more than 10 minutes. Nothing was stolen from Shaw, who has said the assault was a hate crime.

Following the march that began on N. Gay Street, a rally was held in front of the liquor store near where the beating occurred.

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony Batts addressed the crowd and announced the department will establish an advisory board to meet regularly with LGBT people.

“We wanted to go into the neighborhood and look at the faces in the crowd and say no matter if we’re gay or not, we can live here, we can walk here, and we will not be intimidated,” Kinji Scott, one of the organizers of the march told the Blade. “And when you beat us down, we will stand up.”

Marcus Evans, 26, was arrested in connection with the beating of Shaw and has been charged with 1st and 2nd degree assault.