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Trial of gay man’s attacker to begin

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

Kenni Shaw (Photo courtesy of Shaw via Instagram)

The trial of one of the defendants in the high-profile attack on Kenni Shaw — a gay man —Marcus Troy Evans, is set to begin on June 25 at 9:30 a.m. Shaw, 30, a cosmetologist, was leaving a corner store at E. Hoffman and N. Rose Streets in East Baltimore and punched from behind around 9 p.m. on Christmas night. Shaw was bloodied and sustained bruises to his face and body from the beating that ultimately lasted 10 minutes and included five men.

Marcus Troy Evans, 27, the only attacker arrested in the incident, has a lengthy record of criminal behavior that includes violence. He has been charged with first- and second-degree assault.

The incident led to a march several days later to the location of the beating by community members. Included was Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts. Some community activists are disappointed and angry that the assault was not treated as a hate crime.  Shaw and others said the attack occurred only because he is gay as nothing was stolen.

19
Jun
2013

Police commissioner meets residents

Baltimore, police, forum, gay news, Washington Blade

There was a low turnout for last week’s meeting with Baltimore police officials. (Washington Blade photo by Steve Charing)

Baltimore City Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts along with several officers from the department met with members of the LGBT community on Oct. 10 at the Waxter Center.  The meeting was arranged by the department’s LGBT Advisory Council and FreeState Legal.

The forum, which was scheduled as part of Baltimore Black Pride’s weeklong celebration, was aimed at opening lines of communication and to improve relations between the department and LGBT residents.

It also focused on alleged hate crimes as well as profiling and harassment by police that targets community members. In addition, the manner and tone in which police officers have spoken to members of the public was discussed.

“We’re here to be open, we’re here to engage, we’re here to be part of the community — all parts of the community,” Batts said.  The commissioner, who said he grew up with a gay uncle, saw the high-profile beating of gay man Kenni Shaw last Christmas as the catalyst to improve communication. This led to the establishment of the LGBT Advisory Council.

Shaw and his supporters believe the attack outside a corner store in East Baltimore was a hate crime given Shaw’s sexual orientation and the fact that no robbery was committed. Batts indicated that the police have not reached the conclusion that it was a hate crime and no such charges were filed.

Other issues addressed included the handling of same-sex domestic violence situations between same-sex couples, the procedures in place to deal with profiling complaints, crime in the area and the success so far of the “Public Enemy No. 1” campaign. The police touted statistics indicating a decline in violent and property crime from the previous year.

“Unfortunately, there were more police and city officials there than actually community members and stakeholders,” activist Rev. Meredith Moise said of the surprisingly low turnout.  “It is great to see the commissioner and his staff reaching out to the Baltimore LGBT community. However, we, as a community, need to show up and be present for these events. A relationship is a two-way street. Hopefully more folks will show up to the next event.”

16
Oct
2013

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.”

03
Jan
2013

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.

09
Jan
2013