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Three indicted on hate crime charges for July stabbing

Attackers called 16-year-old victim anti-gay names outside Howard Theatre

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Howard Theatre, gay news, Washington Blade
Howard Theater, gay news, Washington Blade

Attackers called 16-year-old victim anti-gay names outside Howard Theatre. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A D.C. Superior Court Grand Jury has indicted two men and a woman on hate crime charges in connection with the June stabbing of a 16-year-old male outside D.C.’s Howard Theatre whom the defendants believed to be gay.

News of the indictments surfaced at an Oct. 9 arraignment in Superior Court for defendants Ali Jackson, 19, his sister Alvonica Jackson, 25, and Desmond Campbell, 33.

The indictment charges Ali Jackson and Campbell with bias-related assault with intent to kill while armed. It charges Alvonica Jackson with bias related assault with a dangerous weapon. All three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

“On or about June 26, 2012, within the District of Columbia, Ali M. Jackson and Desmond R. Campbell, while armed with a knife, assaulted [the victim] with intent to kill him because of prejudice based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of [the victim],” the indictment says.

“On or about June 26, 2012, within the District of Columbia, Alvonica S. Jackson assaulted [the victim] with a dangerous weapon, that is, [a] knife, because of prejudice based on the actual or perceived sexual orientation of [the victim],” the indictment says.

At a July 10 preliminary hearing, a D.C. police detective testified that a witness saw Ali Jackson stab the victim in the left bicep, lower back, and left leg after shouting names at him outside the Howard Theatre at 6th and T streets, N.W.

Det. Kenneth Arrington testified at the hearing that the stabbing took place after Campbell grabbed the victim from behind and held him in a headlock and Alvonica Jackson assisted Campbell by preventing the victim from defending himself by holding his arms.

“I’m going to poke your faggy ass,” Arrington said the witness quoted Ali Jackson as saying while pointing a knife at the victim.

According to a police arrest affidavit, the three defendants each referred to the victim as a “faggy” at the time they were stopped and detained by police.

Under the city’s criminal code, someone who assists in a shooting or stabbing assault can be charged with committing such an assault even if they didn’t fire a gun or personally stab the victim.

A trial for the case set by Superior Court Judge Patricia Broderick is scheduled to begin Jan. 9, 2013.

Ali Jackson has been held without bond since the time of his arrest on the night of the incident in June. Alvonica Jackson and Campbell were released at that time while they await trial.

At the July hearing the three defendants rejected a plea bargain offer by prosecutors that would have dropped the hate crime designation to the respective assault charges against Alvonica Jackson and Campbell. The offer called for retaining the hate crime designation for the charge against Ali Jackson.

A hate crime designation to a felony charge, such as assault with a dangerous weapon, carries a longer prison term than for a similar offense without a hate related designation.

William Miller, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office, which is prosecuting the case, said a conviction against Ali Jackson and Campbell for a hate related assault with intent to kill while armed could result in a sentence of up to 45 years in prison. A conviction against Alvonica Jackson for a hate related assault with a dangerous weapon could bring a prison sentence of up to 15 years.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Mark Peterson

    October 15, 2012 at 8:40 am

    Interestingly enough, it is likely that the tripartite African cult of violent machisimo was simply calling the victim "faggot" because that's how the tribe "rolls." Specificity of language is 'fo whites".. They were probably assaulting him because violent Black anti-white violence is rather commonplace in America, but unlike for Homosexuals that Orwellian phrase "protected class" does not apply to white males…

    • michael

      October 15, 2012 at 9:39 am

      shut up, they’re not african and those slang words your using are racist. if there is any come hate among races, its white against black

  2. Lanorexic

    October 15, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Good riddance to these ghetto dwelling douche bags. I hope they enjoy their stay in federal prison where they too can become the little “faggies”. How ironic that they will be witnessing more homosexual acts in prison than they ever thought imaginable. Jokes on them I guess. When the dark side of our society learns that it’s fine to try to kill homosexuals it spreads like an STD. It blinds like an STD as well.

  3. Laura

    October 15, 2012 at 10:15 am

    I just hope they can adopt to being the object of rape in prison. When they ‘come out’ when released from prison as one of those “faggies” I think they might regret their actions. Such useless pieces of human waste.

  4. Mike W

    October 15, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    Its about time that the hate crime laws are finally used to protect gay people. Unfortunately, the mostly black juries in DC still wont convict blacks of hate crime charges against white gays. Thats the reason why so many previous cases just like this one were plea bargained to minor charges. The victim in this case is black so its acceptable to bring hate crime charges against black defendants. Its a sorry state of affairs.

  5. brian

    October 15, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    *****
    “According to a police arrest affidavit, the three defendants each referred to the victim as a ‘faggy’ at the time they were stopped and detained by police.”
    *****

    Again, this is a relatively “easy” case– with a lot of evidence. What about the hate crimes cases with not so much evidence? What about the cases MPD has not been able to close? Or those that have been closed by MPD without an arrest and trial?

    Sunday, The Washington Post reported that a substantial number of killers are literally getting away with murder in DC. See…
    “D.C. homicides: In 15 percent of closed cases, no charges and no arrests” (Cheryl W. Thompson, The Washington Post, OCT 14)

    It is very likely that lots of perps are getting away with anti-LGBT hate crimes, too.

    That’s why we need independent LGBT citizen organizations, like GLOV, to monitor MPD’s and USAO’s performance, as well a provide additional support for those to frightened or intimidated to report hate crimes violations to MPD. See Blade stories…

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/05/30/anti-violence-activists-to-launch-independent-hate-crime-reporting-project/

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2012/05/31/report-anti-lgbt-murders-rose-11-percent-in-2011/

    Busting and prosecuting perps is not the only way to deter hate crimes, however. In the recent past, we have witnessed too much use of NOT-credible MPD PR/spin machine efforts from MPD’s press office, as well as careless MPD comments that can have the effect of jeopardizing cases, as well as victims’ rights and remedies under DC’s hate crimes law.

    MPD needs to spend its too-scarce human resources bringing hate crimes perps to justice– but also being visible within the community. When would-be perps see GLLU and other MPD officers out and about, VERY VISIBLE– patrolling the night spots and neighborhoods of likely LGBT targets– that’s another way to deter future hate crimes.

    While we can take some comfort that this case is being seriously prosecuted, we must also remain constantly vigilant of MPD and USAO. Perps are still getting away with murder– and they are still getting away with anti-LGBT hate crimes in DC.

  6. Barbara Swanson

    May 23, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    I found this amazing site to make a living online…I’m now close to making $3500 a month. ( http://tinyurl.CoM/otmmgo5 )

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Biden endorses Roem for re-election

Former journalist is first out trans person in any state legislature

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Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) speaks to supporters following her re-election on Nov. 5, 2019. President Biden has endorsed her for re-election. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

President Biden on Tuesday endorsed Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-Manassas) for re-election.

Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax County) is among the other Democratic members of the Virginia House of Delegates who Biden backed. Biden in his tweet also stressed his support of Terry McAuliffe, who is running against Republican Glenn Youngkin to succeed Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam.

“Building back better starts in the states,” tweeted Biden. “Since flipping the legislature in 2019, Virginia Democrats have been a model of progress—including helping us vaccinate folks to beat the pandemic. To keep our progress, we must elect Terry McAuliffe and Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Roem, a former journalist, in 2018 became the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the U.S.

Biden called Roem on the night she defeated then-state Del. Bob Marshall and congratulated her. A Washington Post picture that showed Roem crying moments later went viral.

The Manassas Democrat who represents the 13th District in 2019 easily won re-election. Christopher Stone, the Republican who is running against Roem in this cycle, opposes marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples.

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Conservatives blame pro-trans policy after assaults in Loudoun schools

‘Gender fluid’ 15-year-old accused of attacking female students

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The Loudoun County, Va., public school system’s recently adopted policy of allowing students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity has come under fire over the past two weeks by outraged parents and conservative political activists following reports that a 15-year-old “gender fluid” boy allegedly sexually assaulted two girls in different high schools.

The parents of one of the girls released a statement through the Virginia-based Stanley Law Group blaming school officials for failing to put in place safeguards to prevent the boy, who they say was dressed in a skirt, from entering the girl’s bathroom to assault their daughter at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, Va., on May 28.

The statement accuses Loudoun County Schools officials and the Loudoun County Board of Education of failing to take steps to prevent the same 15-year-old boy from allegedly sexually assaulting another female student at Broad Run High School, also located in Ashburn, on Oct. 6 in a vacant classroom.

School officials acknowledge that the boy was transferred to the second school after law enforcement authorities released him from a juvenile detention facility following his arrest for the first case, in which the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said he was charged with two counts of forceable sodomy against his female victim. 

“The sexual assault on our daughter and the subsequent sexual assault by the same individual were both predictable and preventable,” the parents’ statement says. “Subsequent to the sexual assault on our daughter, Loudoun County Public Schools formalized the policy regarding restroom use that was easily exploitable by a potential sexual assailant,” the statement continues. 

“Because of poor planning and misguided policies, Loudoun Schools failed to institute even minimal safeguards to protect students from sexual assaults,” says the statement.

Loudoun County Schools Superintendent Scott A. Ziegler apologized at an Oct. 15 news conference for what he acknowledged was the school systems’ mishandling of the two sexual assault cases. He noted that school officials should have publicly disclosed the two cases or at least alerted parents at the time they occurred. But he said a federal civil rights law known as Title IX that mandates how schools must respond to cases of sexual harassment appeared to prevent Loudoun school officials from initially disclosing the two cases of sexual assault until they were investigated by law enforcement authorities.

Ziegler said the school system was revamping its disciplinary procedures and its interaction with the Loudoun Sheriff’s Office to ensure that parents and students are alerted to potential danger similar to the cases where the 15-year-old boy allegedly assaulted the two female students.

Meanwhile, school officials and the LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Loudoun have pointed out that law enforcement officials have yet to confirm whether the 15-year-old boy charged in the two cases was actually dressed in women’s clothes during the first incident or whether he is trans or gender fluid.

Equality Loudoun’s president, Cris Candice Tuck, released a statement to the Washington Blade on Oct. 18 that she said was the first official known statement responding to the Loudoun school controversy from an LGBTQ organization.

“In light of the reporting of recent sexual assault allegations, the Board of Directors of Equality Loudoun wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to the victims of these heinous attacks and their families,” the statement says. “Equality Loudoun advocates for due process and justice for the victims regardless of whether the alleged perpetrator was a member of the LGBTQ+ community,” the statement continues. “Such actions have no place in our community, and Equality Loudoun does not condone any form of sexual violence, assault, or harassment,” it says.

“However, the accusations that the alleged perpetrator of these assaults is transgender or genderfluid have so far been unverified,” the Equality Loudoun statement asserts. “Attempts to shift blame of this incident to any individual, group, or policy – other than the alleged perpetrator – does a grave disservice to the victims of these crimes and already marginalized youth in our community.”

The statement adds, “We remind those advocating for change to the laws and policies that the initial assault predated any enactment of Policy 8040 by almost 4 months.”

The Equality Loudoun statement was referring to the fact that the Loudoun County School Board did not vote to approve the school system’s trans nondiscrimination policy until August of this year, more than three months after the first of the two sexual assault incidents occurred. 

The policy, among other things, allows transgender and genderfluid students to use the school bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity. The policy also requires that teachers, school administrators and fellow students address a trans or genderfluid student by their chosen name and pronouns.

“Inadvertent slips in the use of names and pronouns may occur,” the policy states. “However, staff or students who intentionally and persistently refuse to respect a student’s gender identity by using the wrong name and gender pronoun are in violation of this policy,” it states.

The statement says that rumors of a bathroom “pilot” program that predated the official approval of Policy 8040 that would have allowed female trans or genderfluid students to use the girls’ bathrooms “are simply untrue” and were never put in place.

In a separate statement to the Blade, Equality Loudoun’s Cris Candice Tuck challenged claims by some parents and conservative political activists, some of whom are supporting Virginia’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin over Democrat Terry McAulliffe, that the trans nondiscrimination policy is placing students at risk for sexual assault.

“The adoption of nondiscrimination policies are in no way endangering students,” Candice Tuck said. “Across the country, sexual assaults have occurred in schools for decades before any transgender inclusive policies were passed,” she said. “And in those counties and states where such protections have passed in recent years, there has been no verified incidence of anyone abusing such policies to commit such attacks in schools.”

Candice Tuck added, “The focus should be on improving systems of reporting, coordination, and investigation, protecting the victims of these attacks, and creating safer school environments by creating modernized areas and bathrooms that increase protection for all students, including LGBTQ+ students who are statistically more likely to be the victim of such a crime.”  

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D.C. rejects request by gyms to lift mask mandate

LGBTQ-owned venues sign letter calling requirement ‘devastating’ for business

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Owners of two LGBTQ-owned D.C. fitness studios and one gym signed on to a joint letter with the owners of six other similar businesses urging D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. Laquandra Nesbitt to lift a city mandate requiring patrons of gyms and fitness studios to wear masks. 

The Oct. 4 letter, written by gay businessman Bryan Myers, the CEO and president of a chain of local fitness studios using the trademark name of [solidcore], states that the mask mandate, which applies to people who are fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, is based largely on outdated data pertaining to gyms and fitness studios collected prior to the widespread availability of the COVID vaccine.

“More relevant data to inform decision-making would be to study the data from two, large Northeastern cities that have opted to allow fitness classes to continue with the requirement of vaccination in lieu of a mask requirement,” the letter states. “In both New York City and Philadelphia, which have opted for this approach, we have not seen an increase in the trajectory of the Delta variant,” Myers says in the letter.

In the last week of July, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that cities and local jurisdictions with 50 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents per week, which at that time included D.C., should ask residents to voluntarily resume wearing masks indoors. That same week, Bowser announced she would go one step further by mandating the indoor use of masks in most public places, including gyms and fitness spas or studios. 

Bowser and Nesbitt said their intention was to take immediate steps to curtail the spread of the coronavirus so that the city would not be forced to return to the full shutdown mode, including the closing of businesses, that the mayor lifted earlier this year.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced they would ask residents of their states to consider using masks in crowded indoor spaces as recommended by the CDC, but said they would not require mask use. 

In their letter to Bowser and Nesbitt, the gym and fitness studio owners called on the mayor to provide the same exemption to their businesses as the city has provided for restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, which requires masks except when patrons are eating and drinking. 

“While it is true that bars, restaurants, and clubs technically have to follow the same guidelines, we know that in practice, these venues have been granted exceptions by D.C. Health,” the letter says. “On any given night, you can find hundreds of individuals crowded into a U Street bar, at a Capitol Hill restaurant, or thousands at a performance or party at The Anthem enjoying themselves – singing, dancing and physically exerting themselves, shouting – maskless – so long as they have a drink somewhere nearby,” says the letter.

“And to be unequivocally clear, we are not advocating that there is anything wrong with what is happening in other industries or that there be a change to the management of those industries/venues,” the letter continues. “We are simply advocating that we be treated the same as they are.”

The letter adds, “Finally, but perhaps most importantly, the mask mandate for fitness studios and gyms has resulted in devastating financial impact to these businesses – many of which are small locally owned.”

It says patronage has dropped 50 percent for some of the fitness centers and gyms since the mayor’s mask mandate took effect July 29. It points out that the drop in customers comes at a time when many of these businesses have spent thousands of dollars and in some cases hundreds of thousands to upgrade their ventilation and filtration systems and other structural steps to curtail the spread of the coronavirus.

Myers told the Washington Blade in a statement that neither the Department of Health nor the mayor’s office replied directly to the gym and fitness studios’ letter.

Channel 7 News reported that in response to its request for the city’s reaction to the gym and fitness studios’ concerns, the Department of Health released a statement saying, “D.C. Health’s stance is that persons should wear masks in gyms and during this time [we] do not have plans to change our stance on this guidance.”

In his statement to the Blade, Myers said the D.C. gym and fitness studios were frustrated and disappointed that the city at this time is not open to reconsidering the mask mandate for gyms and fitness studios, many of which he said are barely surviving.

“This mandate is directly affecting the livelihoods of residents of the District, many of whom are women, people of color, and/or LGBTQ+ in a policy that is simply not equitable, and is steering residents away from services that can help improve the overall health of our community,” Myers said.

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