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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



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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  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…

    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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Missing gay man found ‘alive and well’

Police say Richard ‘Rick’ Woods found in good health



Richard G. ‘Rick’ Woods, a 65-year-old gay man, was found alive and well.

D.C. police announced on Friday that Richard G. ‘Rick’ Woods, a 65-year-old gay man who police said was reported missing and last seen on July 14, has been located. But the announcement doesn’t provide information on where he was found or why he went missing.

Friends who know Woods say he operated for many years an antique wood furniture restoration business in various locations in D.C. The most recent location of his business, friends said, was in Georgetown a short distance from where police said he was last seen on the 1600 block of Wisconsin Avenue, N.W.

“MPD does not publicly disclose the circumstances surrounding a missing person and how they are found, however we do release their flyer as well as a notification when they are located,” said D.C. police spokesperson Brianna Burch. “Mr. Woods was found in good health,” Burch told the Blade.

Police sought help from the public in their initial announcement that Woods was missing. The announcement said he was reported missing to police on Friday, July 23.

Logan Circle Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and LGBTQ rights advocate John Fanning, who said he has been friends with Woods for many years, said he was delighted to hear Woods was found in good condition.

“Rick is known by many in our community,” Fanning told the Blade at the time Woods was reported missing. Fanning said he and others who know Woods stand ready to provide support for him should he be in need of such support.

The Blade couldn’t immediately reach Woods for comment.

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Some D.C. gay bars to require proof of COVID vaccination

Action prompted by mayor’s order reinstating masks indoors



Adams Morgan’s A League of Her Own is among the area queer bars requiring proof of vaccination for entry.

At least four D.C. gay bars announced this week on social media that they will require patrons to show proof that they have been vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition for being admitted to the bars.

They include the Logan Circle area gay bars Number Nine and Trade, which are operated by the same co-owners, and the Adams Morgan gay sports bars Pitchers and A League of Her Own, which are also operated by the same owner and share the same building.

The four bars, which also offer dining service, announced their proof of vaccination requirement shortly after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Thursday issued a new order reinstating the city’s requirement that facial masks be worn inside all businesses and other public establishments.

The mayor’s order applies to all vaccinated and unvaccinated people over the age of two. It was scheduled to take effect 5 a.m. Saturday, July 31.

At a July 29 news conference, Bowser pointed to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance issued two days earlier recommending that fully vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in places where transmission of the coronavirus is considered “substantial” or “high.”

The mayor said that, at the advice of her public health experts, she decided to issue the new order to help curtail the rising number of COVID cases in D.C. over the past month or more due to the rapid spread of the virus’s delta variant, which is surging throughout the nation. Like other parts of the country, Bowser and D.C. Department of Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbit said people who are unvaccinated in D.C. make up nearly all of the newly infected cases.

“I know D.C. residents have been very closely following the public health guidelines, and they will embrace this,” Bowser said in referring to the new mask requirement.

The four-page order released by the mayor’s office, similar to the city’s earlier mask requirements, allows indoor patrons of restaurants and bars to remove their masks while “actively” eating or drinking.

But some representatives of restaurants and bars have pointed out that other jurisdictions, including Maryland and Virginia, have followed the CDC’s initial policy of making mask wearing a recommendation rather than a requirement.

“Mayor Bowser’s announcement that nightlife hospitality patrons must wear a mask indoors when not ‘actively eating or drinking’ renders the reinstated mandate essentially unenforceable and results in the rule being reduced to a largely theatrical requirement,” said Mark Lee, director of the D.C. Nightlife Council, a local trade association representing bars, restaurants, nightclubs, and other nightlife related businesses.

“The greatest disappointment for many venue operators and staff, however, is that the mayor’s decision does not allow an option for establishments to admit only fully vaccinated patrons and be exempt from the mandate, as a number of other jurisdictions across the country have done,” Lee said.

John Guggenmos, co-owner of the bars Trade and Number Nine, told the Washington Blade he and his co-owners adopted the proof of vaccination policy as an added means of protecting the safety of both patrons and employees of the two bars.

“We’re hopeful that this will be in effect for just a few weeks or a month or two,” Guggenmos said. “Our patrons have always been very supportive,” he said in referring to the city’s public health directives last year and early this year in which masks were required up until May of this year.

Guggenmos said Trade and Number Nine will allow an alternative to the vaccination requirement if patrons provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test conducted within the previous three days of their admission to the bars.

In its social media postings, Pitchers and A League of Her Own said their proof of vaccination requirement was based on the concern for the health of their patrons and staff.

“We will require proof a COVID vaccination until further notice at Pitchers/ALOHO and masks per the mayor,” a Facebook posting says. “We take guidelines and the health of our patrons and staff very seriously. We will accept a picture or hard copy of your COVID vaccination card,” it says. “No exceptions, no arguing, no talking to the manager.”

Tammy Truong, owner of the gay bar Uproar Lounge at 639 Florida Ave., N.W., told the Blade the bar has no immediate plans to require proof of vaccination as a requirement for admission, but Uproar will fully comply with the mayor’s order requiring indoor masks.

Justin Parker, co-owner of the nearby gay bar The Dirty Goose at 913 U St., N.W., told the Blade he and his staff decided on Friday to also put in place a requirement that patrons show either proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past five days. He said a 5-day window for the COVID test, which the CDC allows in some cases, was chosen rather than a three day requirement to accommodate people who may not be able to get tested during weekends.

Owners of other D.C. gay bars couldn’t immeidately be reached. But the Blade could not find any announcements by the other gay bars as of Friday afternoon that they planed to put in place a proof of vaccination requiremenet. 

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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Va. school guidelines for transgender students

Christian Action Network and other conservative groups filed suit



Connor Climo, gay news, Washington Blade

Lynchburg Circuit Court Judge J. Frederick Watson on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit that challenged the Virginia Department of Education’s model policies for transgender students that are to be implemented for the 2021-2022 school year.

The VDOE introduced the policies in March to better protect and affirm trans and non-binary students in schools, considering they are more likely to face discrimination and harassment from their peers and students. The directives would require Virginia schools to allow them to use school bathrooms and locker rooms that conform to their gender identity and pronouns and a name that reflects their gender identity.

Several conservative organizations, including the Christian Action Network, and families whose children attend Lynchburg public schools had sought to overturn the VDOE’s policies. The groups cited their need to protect their right to free speech and religion under the First Amendment.

Challenging the enactment of non-binary and trans-inclusive school policies in Virginia is not a new occurence. 

Tanner Cross, a Loudoun County teacher, was suspended in May after stating he would not use trans students’ preferred pronouns. Circuit Judge James E. Plowman, Jr., who invoked Pickering v. Board of Education,  a 1968 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a teacher that stated they have the right to provide commentary on issues of public importance without being dismissed from their position, reinstated Cross after he filed a lawsuit,  

Equality Virginia on Tuesday a statement celebrated what they described as “a win for Virginia schools and students.”

“This ruling is important progress and emphasizes the continued need to protect transgender and non-binary youth in Virginia,” said Executive Director Vee Lamneck. “These policies will create safer classrooms and will reduce bullying, discrimination and harassment. It’s imperative school boards adopt these policies as soon as possible because the lives of transgender students are at risk.”

Equality Virginia, ACLU of Virginia, and more than 50 other organizations and school board leaders across the state filed an amicus brief earlier this month encouraging the court to deny the lawsuit.

The brief’s arguments included references to historic lawsuits like Brown v. Board of Education and Grimm v. Gloucester City School Board that specifically addressed inequalities in schools for minority students.

While Tuesday’s ruling is a win for LGBTQ rights advocates in education and their respective students, there still remains a final barrier to ensure that the VDOE’s policies are sanctioned in the fall. 

“The dismissal clears one statewide hurdle for the guidelines and limits future challenges,” reports the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. “But it leaves the fight to continue at local school boards, which are currently debating how or if to implement policies before the start of the school year.”

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