Gay activist Nick McCoy, a resident of the city’s Eckington neighborhood, is calling on the LGBT community to join him at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, for a “safety walk” and rally at the site where a gay male couple was attacked and beaten on July 22.
“I live in that neighborhood,” McCoy told the Blade on Tuesday. “In light of the July 22nd attack on 3rd and T, N.E., and the increasing tension in our neighborhood, Amy Loudermilk and I have been working on putting together a rally and Safety Walk in the Eckington-Bloomingdale neighborhood,” McCoy said in a Facebook posting.
“No one should have to walk in fear on the streets of D.C. because of hate,” he said. “Whenever any community is targeted, we all have a duty to stand together.”
McCoy and other organizers have called on supporters to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday night at the Big Bear Café at 1700 1st Street, N.W., which is near 1st and R Street, N.W. He said plans call for participants to walk from the Big Bear to 3rd and T Streets, N.E., where police say gay yoga instructor Michael Hall Jr. and his partner Michael Roike were punched in the face and body by three unidentified male youths.
A police report says the youths shouted anti-gay names at Hall and Roike before they fled the scene. Roike said the suspects fled when a woman who lives in a nearby house and a male friend shouted at the suspects. The report lists the incident as a suspected anti-male homosexual hate crime.
Roike said he and Hall live about two blocks from where they were attacked. He said the two men had just gotten out of an Uber car, which they hired to take them home after a night out at a restaurant and bar on Capitol Hill.
Hall suffered a broken facial bone and fractured jaw at the hands of the attackers which required surgery to treat.
Officials with the local group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), who say they will participate in the Thursday night walk, said the July 22 attack was the latest in a series of recent anti-LGBT assaults that have taken place in the city this year.
“We’re organizing a rally and safety walk through this neighborhood to say no to violence and WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED!” McCoy wrote in his Facebook announcement.
“We will have a start up rally at Big Bear Café and walk down R Street north towards North Capital [Street] in the direction of Lincoln Street toward T Street,” his message says. “We will end where we began at Big Bear Café. We are asking for your support.”
McCoy said representatives GLOV, the D.C. police department’s Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit, the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and the police department’s Critical Incident Team were scheduled to participate in the event.