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5 lesbians attacked; police refuse to take report

Suspect released as cops threatened to arrest victims



Cahty Lanier

UPDATE: Police Chief Lanier has responded to this incident and announced there could be terminations; read more here.

A man who shouted the words “dyke” and “bitches” as he and another man assaulted five lesbians outside the Columbia Heights Metro station at 3 a.m. on July 30 was released by D.C. police officers after they apprehended him on the scene, according to two of the victims.

A third man who accompanied the two attackers used his cell phone to make a video recording of the attack and continued to record the unfolding drama after the police arrived, said Yazzmen Morse, 21, who suffered a black eye and a swollen face from the assault.

According to Morse and the other victim, six or seven officers arrived on the scene in four police cars after responding to an apparent 911 call from a bystander. The two women said the officers, who are assigned to the Third District police station, refused to take a report of the incident, ignoring the women’s repeated requests to make a report.

“The police grabbed one of the attackers and restrained him,” Morse told the Blade. “Then they let him go. And then they said they didn’t want to hear our stories.”

An officer assigned to the D.C. police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit did make a report of the incident three days later, on Aug. 2. Morse said the GLLU became involved after her mother called police to complain about the refusal of the officers on the scene to report the attack.

The GLLU report lists the incident as an anti-gay hate crime.

Morse and the victim, who spoke on condition that she not be identified, said all five women are pleased with the thoroughness of GLLU Officer Joseph Morquecho, who interviewed Morse at her place of work and the other four by phone.

But the two said they are outraged that the officers on the scene refused to take a report and declined to arrest one of the two suspects. They said the second suspect fled as police arrived.

Morse and the other victim said they do not know the identities of any of the officers on the scene.

The two also said the man who recorded the incident on video with his cell phone appeared to be enjoying the spectacle and continued to record after police arrived.

“We’re all wondering if this is going to be on YouTube,” said the woman who asked not to be identified. She said the officers on the scene made no effort to stop the man from recording the incident or to take his cell phone to observe the recording as possible evidence in the case.

Although the GLLU filed the police report, Third District officers and detectives are responsible for investigating the incident since the crime took place within that district.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier released a statement on Friday saying she learned about the incident Thursday night.

“I was appalled when I heard about the incident and the conduct of the officers,” Lanier said. “Obviously, this is not the kind of service that the Metropolitan Police Department provides. I have spoken with victims in this case and I want to assure them and the public that the incident and the conduct of the officers are being investigated thoroughly,” she said.

“I have received an update on this case and I am confident that we will be making arrests,” she said.

A.J. Singletary, chair of the D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, said GLOV would urge police officials to investigate the conduct of the officers on the scene and take disciplinary action if the account of the incident by the victims is confirmed.

“This is just unacceptable,” he said.

Singletary said GLOV members were scheduled to meet with Lanier on Friday over the group’s ongoing concern that the GLLU wasn’t getting sufficient support from police officials, including Lanier. He said he and other GLOV members would raise the issue of the police handling of the July 30 attack on the five lesbians.

The victim, who asked that her name be withheld, said she, Morse and the other three women targeted by the two men were horrified when the man that police released began to laugh and taunt the women as he walked away.

“He walked across the street laughing,” she said. “And I will never forget his face – he was just smiling. And we are five people who are in tears and he is just laughing at us.”

The police report made by the GLLU says the incident began when the two male suspects approached the five women as they were walking along the 3100 block of 14th Street, N.W. The block is in the heart of the shopping and entertainment area of the city’s Columbia Heights neighborhood.

The report says the two suspects began to “flirt” with two of the women. It says one of the women responded by telling the men she wasn’t interested and she was with her girlfriend.

“Suspect 1 became enraged and stated, “You fucking dyke bitches, I will kick that bitch’s ass,” the report says. “I will take that dyke bitch into the alley and kick her ass,” the report quotes suspect 1 as saying.

According to the two women who spoke to the Blade, the suspect was referring to Morse, who is the girlfriend of one of the two women that the two suspects approached. Morse said she walked over to the men to find out what was going on.

The police report, which lists Morse as Complainant 1, says suspect 1 punched her in the left eye. “Complainant 1 staggered back and Suspect 1 punched C-1 twice more with a closed fist. It says that when the other women tried to assist C-1, they were hit by both suspects.

The suspects punched each of the women in the head and face, the report says.

The report describes suspect 1 as a black male between the ages of 20 and 25; 5-feet-seven inches to 5-feet-eight-inches tall, weighing between 150-160 pounds, with a dark complexion and athletic build.

It describes suspect 2 as a black male, between 20 and 25 years old, between 5-feet-eight and five-feet-nine inches tall, weighing between 150 and 160 pounds, having a medium brown complexion and medium or average build. It says suspect 2 had a mustache and both suspects wore blue pants and a white shirt.

The report lists all five victims as black females.

The victim who asked not to be identified said the officers on the scene gave no explanation for refusing to take a report. But she said some of the officers told them they were too agitated.

“They were telling us if you guys don’t calm down we’re going to lock you guys up,” the woman said. “One officer said I’m not talking to you because you guys don’t know how to act,” she said.

“And yes, we were panicking. Yes, we were crying. Yes, we were going off,” she said. “But the fact is these men had just hit us.”

The attack on the five lesbians comes less than two weeks after a D.C. transgender woman was shot to death in Northeast D.C. and one day after a second transgender woman was targeted by a suspect who fired a gun at her but missed hitting her just one block from where the first victim was killed.

GLOV joined transgender activists in criticizing police for not adequately releasing information to the LGBT community and public about the July 20 shooting near the 6100 block of Dix Street, N.E., that left transgender woman Lashai Mclean dead. Both cases remain open, with police looking into anti-transgender hatred as a possible motive.



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  1. laurelboy2

    August 5, 2011 at 8:47 am

    Oh well, life in the big city. Why were the gals out at 3:00 am? Kind of an odd/late hour to be traipsing around town.

    • jjw

      August 5, 2011 at 9:49 am

      Really @laurelboy2? Two men attack these women while they are walking and it is some how their fault? You’ve got to be kidding me. Of course, I totally forgot that it is perfectly acceptable to attack and sexually harass women after midnight on weekdays and after 1am on weekends.

    • Kyle

      August 5, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Yeah. It’s obviously their fault. They were out too late. Stupid victims, trying to be outside without getting punched. I mean, didn’t they know it was 3 a.m.?

    • IdiotBlaster

      August 5, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Oh well? Why ANYONE is out anywhere at anytime is not relevant to this case. Your comment suggests the women are “to blame” because they were out late..ridiculous. Are you a minor or an adult? I could MAYBE understand your thoughtless comments if I knew you were, like 12, cuz I doubt Momma and Daddy have let you see 3 AM much after tucking you in for the night.

    • mmaury

      August 5, 2011 at 10:37 am

      There is never an hour when it becomes acceptable to harass and attack women. Period.

    • I'mfromdc

      August 5, 2011 at 10:46 am

      It doesn’t matter why, they are residents or visitors and most importantly, American citizens. Their right to down a street was decided before you were born.

    • tsmith

      August 5, 2011 at 11:14 am

      why is that an issue? r u the time Police? …….no, u’r an a**hole!

    • liv

      August 5, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      From what I remember as a teenager, I’m pretty sure that the metra in DC runs all night. I would imagine they were returning from a party, bar, or club. It’s the same case in the city I live in now and I know on any given weekend night, I’m usually on public transport around 3 or 4 am returning home from similar events, and it really doesn’t seem that unusual, especially for the 20-30 crowd. I’m sure you didn’t intend for your comment to be offensive – it sounds like maybe things close earlier where you’re from or people are more likely to drive to the nearest bars, etc – but I think the problem is that because this is so often the response in cases of sexual harassment or assault it takes the pressure off the police to do anything about it.

    • Raf

      August 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm

      You’re kidding me. Maybe a hick like you doesn’t realize that life in the big city involves things being open past 9pm.

    • Doctor Whom

      August 5, 2011 at 1:05 pm


    • Caywood

      August 5, 2011 at 2:19 pm

      You’re right, laurelboy. Why the f were the attackers out at 3am instead of locked up where they belong. Great question.

    • Caitlin

      August 5, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      What are you trying to say here? People deserve to be assaulted for being out and about in their city? I am often on break from work at 3:00 am. Do I deserve to be assaulted when I am getting my dinner? And what if they were out bar hopping and carousing – does that mean it’s ok to attack them?

    • Seeembee

      August 5, 2011 at 3:17 pm

      Guess what – it IS a big city. Life in the big city – or anywhere else – means you get to ‘traipse around’ anytime you want. Nothing like blaming the victims in this case. Stop doing it.

    • mr. e

      August 5, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      Really moron? They were “asking for it” by walking at 3am? Hope no one ever catches you out after your “bedtime” (which seems to be about 8pm based on the intellectual age of your response – I’d put you at 13 yrs old…). Dork…

    • Me

      August 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm

      That is no justification for being attacked, nobody should feel unsafe for simply being out in the city.

    • johncopeland

      August 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      what time of day has nothing to do with it. are you saying it would be ok for you to be attacked personally if you happened to be out late. how preposterous. you are ignorant.

    • Reasonable Doubt

      August 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

      Laurelboy2 can’t afford to go out in the city anyway, so he wouldn’t know what its like to be out past the early bird special at the Golden Corral.

    • DF

      August 5, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      So, you are trying to pin it on the victims? Seriously? Why not ask why those men were out at that time too? Last I heard adults didn’t have curfews and noone deserves to be beaten for walking down the street at any hour.

    • Jeanne

      August 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Kind of an odd/late hour for those men to be traipsing around town, too, don’t you think? Why’s it okay for them to be out and about but not the women?

      Barrie: Unfortunately, if the women had fought back, likely they would have been trundled off to jail.

      This story is absolutely appalling. The action — or rather, inaction — of those police officers is why there is so much distrust of law enforcement. People don’t trust that the police are looking out for them. If they aren’t looking out for these people, whose to say they’re going to look out for me?

    • anon

      August 5, 2011 at 11:13 pm

      don’t you dare blame the victims for getting attacked. that’s disgusting


      August 6, 2011 at 12:39 pm


    • Katherine Laney

      August 6, 2011 at 3:25 pm

      Or, I don’t know, the men could have not assaulted the five victims.

      Why blame them? Why placate homophobic and violent behavior by suggesting the victims are at fault? The men committed a serious crime. I don’t care if the women were out at 3 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon—the ATTACKERS are in the wrong here.

    • Tina Grizzle

      August 7, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      It is not life in a big city! It is sickening. It doesn’t matter why they were out at such an hour…maybe they were leaving a club..doesn’t matter. What matters is that they were targets of a hate crime, and that they were assaulted!

    • dee omally

      August 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      gosh….they should have known that being out at 3 am violated a lesbian curfew huh? or African-American curfew?….did someone take the signs down or something that in this “big city”…it is unlawful for lesbians or African-Americans to be on a “public sidewalk” between the hours of 1am and 5am? traipsing…not to be confused with legally walking down a public sidewalk.

    • love vicky

      August 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Laureboy2 if u know how it feels, y hurt someone else with ur dumbest, what if that was ur mother, ur sister, ur daugher, ur grandmother, ur aunt, how would that make u feel??? U need 2 look in the mirror and check urself!!!

    • Deb

      August 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm

      Are you freaking kidding me? What were those guys doing out? Looking for trouble I guess. A bunch of shrimpy men trying to be all big shots by beating up women. Wow, they are so tough.

    • Resp

      March 30, 2012 at 8:16 pm

      The DC Police Department stinks. This is not news. Nor is it news that they fail to take reports on gay-related incidents. You could drop in the middle of Adams Morgan with four cops watching, and they’d disappear in a hot flash. Try speaking to the GLBT unit on Dupont Circle. “Send us an e-mail,” was the response from a Results-gym, bicep-happy guy named Berkowitz when an incident happened to me a few years ago in Dupont area. Whoever these girls were, persistence is key. Get it in the media, and call Cathy Lanier. If your cell phone or landline isn’t plugged, you’ll get to the right people. They won’t say you’re “nuts” or “crazy” and they won’t beat you down. They won’t send you home to a gay-phobic town for more gay-bashing. Good for the girls who got this in front of the community. You aren’t nuts. You just are dealing with a shitty justice system that takes care of its own. Personally, I think the DC gay community is one of the most backstabbing groups. If you take Berkowitz’s advice, you’ll “hear about it” if you’re a member of the gay community, because it’s “a small world even in DC.” Get your dick out of your own ass.

    • ThisOneGurl

      August 14, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Wow. Way to blame the victims. Violence against anyone, at any hour, is not acceptable. Commenting on the time is about as tactful as saying the rape victim was wearing a short skirt. Think before you post, those young ladies are likely reading your comments. They have a right to go anywhere at anytime and not feel threatened. I feel that your comment is quite insensitive. I can’t imagine where the gay rights movement would be today if we all had your attitude.

  2. UstreetObserver

    August 5, 2011 at 9:57 am

    Odds are in DC, the officers knew or were related to the attackers. Everyday I see officers look the other way for friends.

  3. steph

    August 5, 2011 at 10:42 am

    This is clearly a ongoing problem in the city, and I cannot believe that DCPD would not arrest these people or take a report. My heart goes out to the women who were attacked and I hope that they are doing OK.
    @laurelboy2, your victim blaming disgusts me. These women have every right to be out at 3:00 am, and there is never a time where it is acceptable to be sexually harassed or attacked. The blame belongs purely to the men who assaulted these women, and not the ‘gals,’ as you so condescendingly called them.

  4. SamClems

    August 5, 2011 at 11:01 am

    What is wrong with you, laurelboy? People are attacked, assaulted, and the victims of a hate crime and you blame them?! Regardless of time, place, or dress, people have a right to be safe. Thos emen are the ones in the wrong.

  5. BearMan

    August 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Hey laurelboy, if someone takes a fancy to your pretty boy good looks and rapes you and makes you their little bitch, make sure you remember that you asked for it.

    • laurelboy2

      August 5, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      If it’s from a bear, I’m game!!

      • mr. e

        August 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm

        Figures – all your brains are where you want the bear to “put it”…

  6. Me

    August 5, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Really laurelboy2? I suppose if they had been raped they would have deserved that because they happened to be out a 3 a.m., right? What does it matter why they were out at 3 a.m.? Big city or not, the fact is that they were assaulted and no report was taken by the police. No matter what time it is or where you’re at, if ANYONE is assaulted, police are expected to do what they get paid for (to serve and PROTECT) and investigate the crime that occurred!

    • laurelboy2

      August 5, 2011 at 1:50 pm

      I totally agree that these women were attacked. And, it’s unfortunate the police did not take a report; although I must suspect they had some valid reason for not doing so absent evidence to the contrary. I also feel strongly that to avoid crime one should exercise good judgment and not place him/herself in potentially compromising situations, e.g., walking around at 3am. DC and the Columbia Heights neighborhood are not comparable to small town America where people leave their doors open at night. In summary, while the victims certainly did not deserve the attack, they clearly exercised poor judgment. Period.

      • Me

        August 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm

        People use poor judgement everyday in every walk of life, big city or small town America, it does not mean they should have been attacked or have the police refuse to report the incident. You can get police to report on just about anything. These police and you are simply ridiculous. There is not a time limit on reporting crimes. Your argument has zero logic. Stay in your small town. It seems that a big city would be far too much for you to handle. BTW, I happen to be from a small town. I guess you’re not cultured enough to know that people live their lives 24/7. You are assuming they were out partying it up, which I’m assuming the same thing. Realistically, they could have been coming home from work, taking a break from work, or needed to be out for a number of different reasons. But, I guess you live in a world where everything is 9 to 5 and everyone has a curfew of 10 p.m.

  7. Charlez

    August 5, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Violent, unoriginal language from Negro mens in DC? Shut cho mouth! A k a Quelle surprise.

  8. Doctor Whom

    August 5, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    It’s not the first time the police have refused to enforce the law against anyone except the victims. To protect and serve, my ass.

    • Another Halocene Human

      August 6, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Yeah, it’s not unheard of in domestic abuse cases, also gay-bashings. Nice trifecta here–women getting hit by men, Black gay women (obvs those b8tches can take care of themselves, amirite, brah?), and a gay-bashing to boot (those gays, they are teh funneh, amirite?). I hope internal affairs burns their asses but I’m not holding out hope here.

  9. brian

    August 5, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    MPD Chief Lanier and A.C. Groomes long ago sent a message throughout MPD that GLLU’s award winning central unit was not important to MPD’s top bosses. So why should we be surprised that responding MPD 3D officers exhibited a new institutional homophobia and sexism to the lesbian victims of this violent assault.

    Once again, as with the institutional homophobia that was exhibited within 5D late last summer and fall, at its highest levels, this failure of responding 3D officers to take a report of a hate crime assault, really puts the lie to the repeated claims of Lanier and Groomes that LGBT sensitivity, and GLLU itself is being “expanded” and “improved” to all of MPD’s districts.

    No doubt, with these victims’ insistence to alert what’s left of GLLU’s decimated unit, this is the kind of “increased reporting” which Lanier last month implied to the Council might explain away DC’s increase in violent crimes against LGBT people. But while Lanier is deftly beguiling the Council with more outrageous excuses, or showboating around town– some say, running for mayor, herself– LGBT residents continue to be assaulted, shot and killed.

    LGBT community policing has become a joke under Chief Lanier. She has repeatedly said one thing and done another– pretty much as she pleases. Violent crime in DC against LGBT people is now receiving notoriety in the national LGBT press, as well.

    It is time Mayor Gray and CM Menderlson, and others on our Council, recognize that trust in MPD by the city’s LGBT residents, has been broken, irreparably, by its own chief of police.

    Our leaders need to stop making excuses for Lanier’s failed policy which continues to violently victimize DC’s LGBT residents and visitors. I mean, who is tacitly complicit? The increasing fear of all of our LGBT residents and visitors begs the question.

    For the good of our city’s public safety and for the good of MPD’s credibility, Lanier and Groomes could do the right thing, too, and simply resign and move on.

    • laurelboy2

      August 5, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      Your 1st paragraph sums you up perfectly – paranoid, who plays the victim card because you’re gay. Not everything in this world revolves around or is a consequence of your sexual orientation.

  10. Francis

    August 5, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    What an unbelievably sad and horrific story. Yes, they may have been out at 3 AM but guess what, 3 AM or 3 PM, crime is crime.

    The two questions I have are, first of all, what happened to the man recording the event? Was he apprehended? This report didn’t really say much about what happened with him, other than he was standing and recording and laughing.

    Secondly, there hasn’t been any statement made by the Third district office. That’s completely unacceptable and appaling. Are they getting their ducks in a row before making a statement? Are they going to sweep this incident under the rug? It doesn’t appear that they are involved whatsoever in what happened here and that’s very eye-raising and alarming. I want to hear what they have to say before going completely apes**t against them.

    The lack of respect towards women and the homophobia shown here is shocking, but this is what these thugs have been raised to think. If we want to see violent crime in general against innocents be reduced, there needs to be a large shift in the mentalities these individuals and their behaviors.

    • Another Halocene Human

      August 6, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Raised to think that or not, the inaction of the police is most galling. Once again they are telling these young men, loud and clear, that violence against sexual minorities is a safe, acceptable, and even legal outlet for their aggressions.

      No different from NYC in the 1970’s. Btw, I doubt anyone’s mama in Brooklyn or Capitol East taught their boys that it was okay to bash queers…

  11. Caitlin

    August 5, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    This boggles the mind. What on earth do these police think they exist for if not to arrest suspects in an assault?

    • laurelboy2

      August 5, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Have you received and analyzed a comprehensive report of the incident from MPD? No. You’re basing your biases totally on what’s in Lou’s article. Narrow-minded.

  12. Barrie Daneker

    August 5, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Cheif Lainer I suggest you get to the bottom of this ASAP or their will be consequences to this failure of MPD not to make a report and frankly an arrest! ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! I’ll be sure to be in the face of the Mayor and the Council on this failure to protect taxpaying citizens of DC! OUTRAGEOUS!

  13. Barrie Daneker

    August 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    To the ladies who were attached. Next time take these thugs on and kick some booty! I bet you 5 could have beaten the hell out of them. wonder what MPD would have done then!

  14. ruby

    August 5, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    wow. when the people rise up…there will be no need for the police…clearly they don’t like to do their jobs anyhow. My condolences to the women involved. There is a special place for both the attackers and those cowardly tax payer paid officers. shame . . .

  15. brklynivn

    August 5, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Who were these two cops? They should be fired with loss of pension.

  16. jamie

    August 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    for all the laurelboys out there. I do believe the fact that police are involved would suggest these actions are illegal, the prompt outrage and fast brown nosing by all levels suggest it is criminal. It’s ignorance like yours that makes this sickening news commonplace. Maybe if we sat you in a pirahna pool you’d understand UNWANTED attention.

  17. Keith Jarrell

    August 5, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    If the allegations are true and the responding officers refused to take a report and did as stated. Turned the two men lose after they knew well that the women had been verbally abused.
    Then the officers should be fired, as they are not capable of performing their duties.
    No citizen, resident or visitor of the District of Columbia should have the urgency and need police and not be protected properly when officers arrive. These allegations are serious and the community must not compromise until a reasonable resolve is met.

    • laurelboy2

      August 6, 2011 at 1:11 pm

      Have you ever heard of the 1st amendment right to freedom of speech? I’ve been called faggot before, but they have a right to call me faggot just like I have a right to call them names, too. Sticks and stones might break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Maintain your self confidence, self esteem and move on. Next?

  18. twiggy

    August 5, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    It shouldnt matter what time they were out. No one deserves that

  19. marj

    August 5, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I hope we learn the names & badge #s of the officers who responded & refused to do their jobs. We must hold them accountable if MPD fails to. By now, they’ve undoubtedly circled the wagons. I’m in 3D, horrified at these officers’ misconduct.

    • laurelboy2

      August 6, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      and what are you going to do?

  20. Paul j Stein

    August 5, 2011 at 11:17 pm

    Maybe a few dead attackers would lessen the attacks. A 44 magnum gets a lot of self defense reaction.

    • Another Halocene Human

      August 6, 2011 at 11:49 am

      If the cops didn’t believe them at the scene, why would they believe them after shots had been fired? Get real.

  21. Jeri Hughes

    August 6, 2011 at 2:17 am

    police allowing thugs to walk after assaulting innocent victims? victims being blamed for unprovoked attacks? prosecutors failing to vigorously prosecute? crimes going unsolved? and the victims are, of course, LGBT. somehow, the MPD cannot put together a good case. TONY HUNTER. TYRA HUNTER. NANA BOO MACK. LASHAY MCCLEAN. STEPHANIE THOMAS. UKEA DAVIS. IMANI WILLIAMS. and so many many more. today, i watched the MPD and a prosecutor try very hard to imprison a transgender woman for solicitation, although every fact supported and clearly indicated that the entire incident was entrapment, as well as frivolous prosecution. the woman was almost in her front yard….an officer approached her, propositioned her, and when she refused and walked away they arrested her anyway. even tried to put her in jail for two years as a repeat offender. Tony Hunter died from an unprovoked attack. i call that murder. darryl hannah got what, 90 days. beat up his girlfriend and gets another hundred. and what about the other men that participated in the attack on Hunter? NO ONE KNOWS BECAUSE THE MPD ISN’T TALKING. no arrests. no prosecutions. adrian williams degrades a woman as she lays dying, refuses to provide the assistance he is sworn to provide, and he is promoted. still employed today. but they tried to put a transgender behing bars for two years because she was standing outside her home. those drops you feel aren’t rain. we are getting peed on. and if you aren’t angry about it yet, you need to be. you could very well be the next victim. the pity is, we have some good officers here in DC. we have some good officers in what is left of the GLLU. i wonder what happens to them, and what they hear, when they really try to do their job. management is not in command of the rank and file. they are covering their asses and their 6 figure paychecks. trans/homo phobia is rampant in MPD and corrections. so. what are we going to do about it?

    • laurelboy2

      August 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm

      Exactly, what are you going to do about it? I’m waiting…

  22. Keith Jarrell

    August 6, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    I think the girls should demand to know who the highest ranking MPD officers was at the scene. Once they know they they should demand they be fired for insubordination. Clearly, the Sargent or Lt. that should have been called to the scene must have made the decision not to hold the accused. This responsible person should then be placed on administrative leave until a full investigation is conducted and then someone should be held accountable. If Chief Lanier is serious about the incident and adamant that the community should not be worried about such a thing becoming a habit then she will take the proper actions to prove to the community that she means what she says.

  23. brian

    August 6, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    You are about four years too late to this story, Keith. But I’ll bet there is more MPD PR going on, too.

    This “thing” already HAS become a habit at MPD. And that’s because Chief Lanier has decimated and deliberately degraded GLLU’s central unit, sending confusing messages down to MPD’s rank and file. But you know that, don’t you, Keith? That’s the GLLU central unit you thought should be “broken up” in your previous commentary– just last month (Chibbaro’s LaSalvia assault report story).

    Did Lanier or Groomes tell you “…Chief Lanier is serious about the incident and adamant that the community should not be worried about such a thing becoming a habit.” I don’t know. Sounds kinda canned to me.

    Maybe some little-known ‘LGBT community activist’ has gotten their PR talking points from MPD’s honchos? Maybe someone’s angling for another MPD award/ awards banquet. I know those MPD awards soirees must be heady stuff– especially if one has run for office unsuccessfully.

    MPD even tried to pull that pooh on me a few years back. But some of us have actually seen MPD’s LGBT-hate crimes cover-ups– up close and personal– and we know of the PR games our MPD Chiefs are capable of.

    Why do you suppose GLAA, the city’s oldest, most effective and most widely respected LGBT civil rights organization was repeatedly ignored and shut out by Lanier during her first term? Why is GLOV expected to train MPD police officers? Why are MPD LGBT officers themselves not being recruited to do that? Indeed, why isn’t our Council digging deeper? Asking the tough questions? Why aren’t they challenging MPD honchos’ song-and-dance?

    The 3D officers involved should be reprimanded, of course. But the MPD chain-of-command bosses and their LGBT-degrading policies, IMO, are most responsible for yet more MPD LGBT hate-crime coverup attempts. Mayor Gray should fire Lanier and Groomes– before DC develops a reputation as a hate crime capital.

  24. zelt

    August 7, 2011 at 5:56 am

    That’s not fine…

  25. Tina Grizzle

    August 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    It is not life in the big city to be the targets of a hate crime! It doesn’t matter why they were out..maybe they had been “clubbing”….it’s not relevant. What matters it that they were assaulted, and that the officers refused to take appropriate action. It is really sad and ignorant when people, (i.e. you, and the officers) blame the victims of crime.

  26. Jim Stark

    August 7, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    Disciplinary action should be execute to those cops, it has a huge effect to the dignity with other police officers. specially to those who are modest and sincere in their service.

  27. dee omally

    August 7, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    Let me see if I read the article carefully…since Spanish was my 1st language (until the 1st grade), please forgive me if I misread something…at least give me an A for effort.

    Summary of events that occurred publicly:

    1) a group of 3 males, working in unison, focus on 5 females in a flirtatious manner.
    2) they became enraged when they are rebuffed.
    3) they begin to deride the females with phobic hate speech.
    4) they make threats to inflict serious bodily harm
    4) they follow through on their threats by assaulting the females with a weapon (closed fist)
    5) they commit battery on the females by striking them in vital areas (head and face)
    6) striking vital areas can and often does lead to life-threatening injuries up to and including death
    7) first responders fail to collect evidence (cell phone) and take photos of injuries.
    8) EMS is not summoned to respond to triage/treat the injuries
    9) no attempt was made to stop the continuing violation of personal privacy of the females with the cell phone. Private persons are not celebrities and thus entitled to privacy.
    10) no attempt was made to assist with at least a citizens arrest of the male suspects
    11) no attempt to investigate for a conspiracy to commit assault and battery was made.
    12) no attempt to investigate for a hate crime was made.
    12) faced with all of this evidence and suspects matching descriptions of those attacking other females (transgender) no investigation was conducted for a possible connection to a possible serial killer/killers.
    12) a suspect was detained and released and instead the victims were threatened with incarceration?
    13) no incident report was completed as required by law for assault and battery hate crime?

    Now did I read this correctly? That first responders hired to protect and serve the PUBLIC did not execute fair and impartial justice?…rather justice not served was justice denied?

    Please tell me my English comprehension is failing me…that this isn’t what I read…because if it is…we are now living in an upside-down world….that will not right itself on its own. It will have to be righted again by someone…assertively. Count me in.

  28. TQ

    August 8, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Dee, your summation is correct except it was 2 males instead of 3….I grew up in DC and my mom still lives there and I know how I am harassed as a driver everytime I drive in or out, but several guys can assault women, still be there when the police arrive and just walk away and it’s all good?? Upside-down indeed.

  29. dee omally

    August 11, 2011 at 1:30 am

    oh yeah that’s right two males….thanx…

  30. dee omally

    August 11, 2011 at 1:45 am

    Actually…no there were 3 males “working in unison”…the one videoing is also guilty as an accomplice…aiding and abetting in the assault and battery + hate crime enhancement. In fact, the videoing (if true), corroborates that it was a conspiracy…between all three “working in unison”…

  31. The Happy Camper

    August 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Law Suit

  32. At Your Service

    February 12, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    facts are facts whatever corrective “science” claims it to be(western world). homosexual men are not bi-sexual at all .they cannot be corrected. obviously women cannot “rape” a guy forget a gay. men is more of a evolved creature from female template. so is this behaviour. heterosexual men already understands a small thing which western world and pseudo homo sexual women till now are denying:
    women are a tool more of. the orientation doesn’t matter much for a men in need of sex. then, lesbians! this term is wrong. because, women are not homosexual. they are having a kink with other women. there is no homosexuality among women. it is only curiousity. this is why from olden days, women-women act is seen as a childish thing. it is the jealous nature of women and their awareness of women being inferior to men made feminism grow and feminazis who supports so called lesbianism. women can have emotion and sex with men however she claims she is lesbian(homosexual).. that is where Men is at advantage. I know feminazis and their pimps will cry “misogynist” bigot … but let this post remain here as a proof that real Men knows the reality.

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Nellie’s agrees to $5,000 fine, 7-day license suspension over brawl

Penalty prompted by security guard dragging Black woman down stairs



Nellie’s must pay a fine and face a seven-day license suspension over a June 13 brawl in which a Black woman was dragged down the stairs. (Blade file photo by Tom Hausman)

The D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Wednesday, Oct 20, approved a compromise agreement it reached with Nellie’s Sports Bar that calls for the U Street, N.W. gay bar to pay a $5,000 fine and serve a seven-day license suspension over a June 13 incident in which a Black woman was dragged down a flight of stars by a Nellie’s security guard during a brawl between Nellie’s customers.

The agreement calls for a license suspension of 24 days with 17 days to be suspended and seven days to be served “so long as the Respondent does not commit any violations within (1) year from the date of this Order,” the ABC Board declared in a three-page order confirming the agreement.  

The order states that the license suspension will be served from Dec. 20-26 of this year. It also states that Nellie’s must pay the fine within 120 days from the date of the order. If the fine is not paid during that time “its license shall be immediately suspended until all amounts owed are paid.”

As a final stipulation of the agreement, the ABC Board states that Nellie’s must file a “legally compliant security plan” within 10 calendar days of the Oct. 20 order.

The security plan requirement stems from an earlier finding by the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration related to the June 13 incident that Nellie’s was in violation of several provisions of the city’s liquor law, including a provision that a security plan that meets the standards of the city’s liquor regulations is in place.

An ABRA investigation of the June 13 incident found, among other things, that “multiple assaults occurred inside the establishment while the licensee was engaged in a method of operation conducive to unlawful conduct.”

The action by the Nellie’s security guard, which took place during the city’s LGBTQ Pride weekend, was captured on video taken by one of the customers on their phone. The video went viral on social media, prompting a series of protests against the bar by LGBTQ activists and Black Lives Matter advocates.

Nellie’s issued an apology for the incident the following day and announced it had fired the private security company whose employee, who is Black, dragged Keisha Young, 22, down the stairs. Nellie’s also announced it would temporarily close for business to assess what had happened and develop plans for reopening as a safe space for all members of the community. It reopened 35 days later, with protesters continuing to assemble outside the bar for several more weeks.

 When the five-member ABC Board on Oct. 20 held a roll call vote to approve what is officially called an Offer-In-Compromise or OIC agreement with Nellie’s that includes the fine, license suspension, and other provisions, gay ABC Board member Edward Grandis voted against the agreement, becoming the only member to do so.

A video recording of the virtual ABC Board meeting available through YouTube shows that Grandis expressed general support for the decision by both the board and Nellie’s to reach a compromise agreement. But he said he objects to the license suspension requirement.

“In this particular regard, when the facts and the testimony indicate that the licensee on its own initiative without any knowledge, at least in the testimony, of prompting from the government or MPD or any party, to itself close for 35 days during – generally – the pandemic when so many companies lost their companies and their employees lost their jobs and the neighborhoods lost their establishments, I really believe that this particular situation shows that the licensee took this event seriously and accordingly in a manner that hopefully will prevent it from happening again or have better security measures to avoid this type of situation in the future,” Grandis told his fellow board members.

“And I just wanted the record to show I’m supportive of the OIC generally, but I don’t believe it was constructed in a way that indicates what this licensee has done since that incident,” Grandis said.

Nellie’s owner, Douglas Schantz, and Nellie’s attorney, Andrew Klein, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Klein, who spoke at the ABC Board hearing on Wednesday, said in response to a question by Grandis that Nellie’s reluctantly agreed to the fine and license suspension, which he called “excessive,” among other things, because Schantz wants to put the matter behind him and to “heal” and “move on” with the community.

The ABC Board’s action came one day after the Washington City Paper announced that Nellie’s Sports Bar finished in second place among its readers in its annual Best of D.C. contest for the category of “Best Gay Bar/Club/Lounge.”

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UDC hosts event recognizing LGBTQ support at HBCUs

Seven campuses participate in annual event



The Human Rights Campaign Foundation created the annual Out Loud Day event three years ago to ‘celebrate LGBTQ+ people and develop innovative inclusion efforts.’ (Screen capture via YouTube)

The University of the District of Columbia on Wednesday, Oct. 20, hosted one of seven “Out Loud Day” events highlighting LGBTQ visibility and inclusion at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) on college campuses throughout the country.

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the national LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement that it created the annual Out Loud Day event three years ago to “celebrate LGBTQ+ people and develop innovative inclusion efforts” at the nation’s historically black colleges and universities.

“It is also a day to take stock of all the challenges that LGBTQ+ students face in their daily lives at HBCUs and to have discussions on how to foster even more inclusion on their campuses,” said Leslie Hall, the HRC HBCU Program Director in a statement.

“This is the third time that the Human Rights Campaign has hosted the day, and we couldn’t be more excited to continue to expand upon the LGBTQ+ inclusion work we have been doing for years alongside HBCU administrations and student leaders,” Hall said.

Rishard Butts, HRC’s HBCU Program Senior Manager, told the Washington Blade that the UDC event included in-person activities that began at 5 p.m. on its campus in Northwest D.C. Among the events were an open dialogue session covering LGBTQ topics of interest to student participants. He said another session focused on LGBTQ figures in history, including those who were Black, and their impact on historic developments locally or worldwide. 

He said a third session included a trivia contest in which student participants received small prizes for answering questions about LGBTQ topics of interest to the community.

Butts noted that the HBCU Out Loud Day event was taking place at UDC a little over two years after the university celebrated the grand opening of its Center for Diversity, Inclusion & Multicultural Affairs. At the time of its opening, the Center said it would provide services and a space to meet and socialize for “students of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.”

According to Butts, the concept for Out Loud Day at historically black colleges and universities began, in part, as a response to National Coming Out Day, which he said is not something that all LGBTQ people of color could do.

“So, we flipped this day around and instead of putting the responsibility of someone coming out, we put the responsibility on everyone to celebrate everyone,” he said. “So, it’s HBCU Out Loud Day so everyone is ‘out loud’, and everyone is proud, and everyone is celebrating and uplifting the stories of LGBTQ people and it’s not just the responsibility of the person who is out or coming out.”

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Gay man attacked, beaten by neighbors in Northeast D.C.

Police list incident as hate crime but courthouse ‘backlog’ could delay arrests



Antonio Zephir was beaten by neighbors and fears for his life. (Photo courtesy of Zephir)

A woman, her daughter, and a man believed to be the daughter’s father repeatedly punched a gay man in the face while the mother called him a “Jewish faggot” and other anti-gay slurs during an Oct. 13 incident on the grounds of an apartment building where the victim and the two women live, according to the victim and a D.C. police incident report.

The victim, Antonio Zephir, 51, told the Washington Blade the incident began after the mother began shouting anti-gay slurs at him as he walked past her and his roommate outside the Northwood Gardens Apartments at 4870 Fort Totten Dr., N.E. at about 12:40 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 13. 

Zephir identifies the mother as Aurlora Y. Ellis in court papers seeking a restraining order against her that he filed in D.C. Superior Court. He said she had acted in a hostile way toward him before the assault incident.

“For several months, every time Ms. Ellis sees me, she shouts homophobic slurs and I continued to ignore her,” Zephir told the Blade in an email.

He said that minutes before the Oct. 13 attack, Ellis yelled the words “Jewish faggot” when he walked past her as she was talking to his roommate, Steven Johnson. Zephir said it is well known among his neighbors at the apartment complex that he is of the Jewish faith.

“I responded with not-so-kind words. She ran towards me and assaulted me with hard punches toward my face,” Zephir wrote in his email to the Blade. 

“I punched back in an attempt to defend myself,” he wrote. “Mr. Johnson tried to break us up when her daughter Latera Cox and [Cox’s] father assaulted me,” according to Zephir’s account of the incident. “Ms. Ellis yelled, ‘Call the police, you bitch faggot. They’re not going to do anything. This isn’t over yet.”

At that point, Ellis, her daughter Latera Cox, and the man Zephir believes to be Cox’s father fled the scene, Zephir told the Blade.

The D.C. police incident report, which lists the assault as a suspected hate crime, says, “All three suspects then fled east bound” on the 4800 block of Fort Totten Dr., N.E.

Zephir said he immediately called police, who arrived on the scene and took a report on the incident. The report obtained by the Blade lists the incident as a simple assault, which is a misdemeanor under D.C. law.

But Zephir said a detective working on the case told him this week that police were looking into speeding up the process of obtaining warrants for the arrest of the three attackers based, in part, on the injuries Zephir suffered from the attack. He provided the Blade with a medical report issued by the Washington Hospital Center, where his roommate took him to the emergency room the day following the attack, in response to severe pain he was experiencing to his face and head.

The report from the hospital, which treated and released him on Oct. 14, says he was diagnosed as having a fractured nose; a fracture of the “interior orbital wall,” which is the bone surrounding one of his eyes; subconjunctival hemorrhage or bleeding of his left eye; and “laceration of oral cavity” which means an injury inside his mouth caused by trauma from the assault.

Zephir told the Blade that the same detective told him last week that due to a “backlog” in cases at the D.C. Superior Court, it could take between one and two months for police and prosecutors to obtain warrants for the arrests of the two women and the man who assaulted him.

A police spokesperson told the Blade the case remains under active investigation. A spokesperson for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, which acts as the prosecutor for adult criminal cases in D.C., said he would look into whether the office could publicly comment on the status of efforts to obtain arrest warrants for the three attackers.

Zephir said rumors had surfaced prior to the assault incident that Ellis may have access to a gun. Based on what he feared was a threat by Ellis when she told him during the attack that “this isn’t over yet,” he said he persuaded his roommate to drive him to the courthouse on the same day as the attack to apply for a court restraining order to prevent Ellis from harming him again.

Court records show he also filed a civil complaint against Ellis, Ellis’s daughter, and Ellis’s roommate, Linda Miller, who Zephir says in the complaint acted as an “enabler” for Ellis’ hostility toward him.

The complaint, which is a civil lawsuit that Zephir wrote by hand and filed by himself without hiring a lawyer, calls for $18,000 in damages.  

“I have nightmares,” Zephir told the Blade. “I can’t believe it happened. I keep reliving the experience over and over and over in my head,” he said. “And I feel like I’m a prisoner in my own apartment. I don’t feel safe because I, honest to God, feel like she is going to bodily harm me and I might be, God forbid, murdered.”

Ellis, Cox, and Miller could not immediately be reached for comment.

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