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Possible hate crime charge in assault on drag performer

Two women await trial for attack captured on video

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Miles DeNiro, Manny & Olga's, hate crime, gay news, Washington Blade
Miles DeNiro, Manny & Olga's, hate crime, gay news, Washington Blade

Miles Denaro was dragged by the hair across the floor of a restaurant, punched and kicked by two women. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is considering hate crime charges. (Screen capture)

Prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office told a D.C. Superior Court judge on Wednesday that the office is considering classifying as a hate crime an assault charge filed against the second of two women accused of attacking a gay male drag performer in June at a D.C. carry-out pizzeria.

The disclosure by prosecutors that they may upgrade the charge of simple assault against Raymone Harding, 28, to a bias-related offense that could result in a stiffer penalty came one week after they made a similar announcement for co-defendant Rachel Manna Sahle, 22.

The two women were arrested a week and a half after they were captured on video dragging Miles Denaro by the hair across the floor of the restaurant after knocking him down and punching and kicking him. Denaro reported that the women called him a “faggot” and “tranny” during the assault.

Denaro said he was dressed in women’s clothes at the time of the incident. He said he had just finished a drag performance at the nearby Black Cat nightclub.

The video, which was taken by one of the customers at the restaurant near 14th and U Street, N.W., went viral after the customer posted it on a website that caters to hip-hop music enthusiasts.

At the time of their first court appearance in early July, a judge released Harding and Sahle on their own recognizance on the condition that they stay away from Denaro.

During Wednesday’s court hearing, Judge Juliet McKenna scheduled a status hearing for Harding on Sept. 20 at 9:30 a.m., the same time and date the judge last week ordered Sahle to return court for a status hearing.

Court documents posted on the Superior Court’s online docket, which list Harding and Sahle as co-defendants, say Judge McKenna agreed to a request by prosecutors for a continuance in the case while they assess whether to file “enhancement papers” classifying the assault charge as a hate crime.

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Virginia

Suhas Subramanyam wins Democratic primary in Va. 10th Congressional District

Former Obama advisor vows to champion LGBTQ rights in Congress

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Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Fairfax County) (Photo courtesy of Subramanyam's campaign)

Virginia state Sen. Suhas Subramanyam (D-Loudoun County) on Tuesday won the Democratic primary in the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) in Congress.

Subramanyam won the Democratic primary in Virginia’s 10th Congressional District with 30.4 percent of the votes. The Loudoun County Democrat who was an advisor to former President Barack Obama will face Republican Mike Clancy in November’s general election.

“I’m thrilled to be the Democratic nominee in Virginia’s 10th, and to have won this election during Pride Month,” Subramanyam told the Washington Blade on Wednesday in an emailed statement. “As I have done in the state legislature and as an Obama White House policy advisor, I will always stand as an ally with the LGBTQ+ community.”

Wexton, who is a vocal LGBTQ rights champion, last September announced she will not seek re-election after doctors diagnosed her with progressive supranuclear palsy, a neurological disorder she has described as “Parkinson’s on steroids.” Wexton is a vice chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus and a previous co-chair of its Transgender Equality Task Force.

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Baltimore

Police say they didn’t spray a chemical agent at Baltimore Pride. Why don’t those who attended believe it?

Attendees allege city failed to adequately respond to emergency

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A parade participant is photographed clutching on to a rainbow flag at Baltimore’s Pride Parade held on June 15, 2024. (Photo by Ronica Edwards/Baltimore Banner)

BY BRENNA SMITH and JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | A chemical agent that disrupted Pride Parade festivities last weekend continues to cause confusion and raise suspicion among many in the Baltimore LGBTQIA+ community, who question the police account of what happened.

The Baltimore Police Department said Tuesday that they had determined the released substance was Mace, but did not say how they came to that conclusion. A BPD spokesperson said that the chemical was released after two groups of people got into an altercation. Three people were treated and released from a nearby hospital because of injuries from the spray.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Baltimore

Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep

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Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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