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Mayor Dyer: Trump ‘antithesis of what Orlando is all about’

City continues to heel from Pulse massacre

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer speaks at the Out & Equal Workplace Summit in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 5, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Thursday sharply criticized Donald Trump during a telephone interview with the Washington Blade.

“Donald Trump’s positions on everything are the antithesis of what Orlando is all about,” said Dyer.

Dyer spoke with the Blade less than five months after a gunman who lived in Port St. Lucie, Fla., killed 49 people and wounded 53 others inside the Pulse nightclub that is less than two miles south of Orlando City Hall.

The gunman, who was born in New York City to Afghan parents, pledged his allegiance to the leader of the so-called Islamic State in a 911 call he made from inside the gay nightclub that was holding its weekly Latino party at the time of the shooting. Trump in the days after the June 12 massacre — which is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history — reiterated his calls to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

“We don’t hold it against the Muslim community that (the gunman) was a bad actor,” said Dyer, noting Muslims stood alongside LGBT advocates and others who condemned the massacre.

Dyer further accused Trump of “promoting hate.”

“We’re promoting love,” said Dyer.

A Trump campaign spokesperson did not return the Blade’s request for comment.

Two women hold candles outside the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, Fla., on June 13, 2016, during a memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Two women hold candles outside the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center in Orlando, Fla., on June 13, 2016, during a memorial to the victims of the Pulse nightclub massacre. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

Dyer said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) didn’t “help himself” by speaking at an anti-LGBT conference that took place at an Orlando hotel in August.

The Cuban-American Republican who ended his presidential campaign earlier this year announced he would seek re-election two weeks after the massacre. Dyer accused Rubio of “publicizing” his campaign at the Pulse nightclub.

A Rubio campaign spokesperson did not respond to the Blade’s request for comment.

Dyer said Florida Gov. Rick Scott responded to the Pulse nightclub massacre “in a way that a governor should,” even though activists criticized him for not publicly acknowledging its LGBT victims. Dyer categorized state Attorney General Pam Bondi’s statements about protecting LGBT Floridians from violence as “hypocritical” because she opposed the extension of marriage rights to same-sex couples in the state.

Bondi has been married three times.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Mayor Dyer and everyone who responded to help the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting,” she said in a statement that her office sent to the Blade on Thursday. “My office continues to assist those harmed in this horrific attack.”

Bondi, Scott and Rubio have all endorsed Trump. Dyer supports Hillary Clinton.

Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, and the Human Rights Campaign are among the organizations that backed gun control efforts in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre. Dyer told the Blade he has “been very careful not to politicize” the shooting.

“It would hinder what I need to do in heeling our community,” he said.

‘We’re dealing with myriad issues’

Dyer spoke to the Blade a day before President Obama was scheduled to travel to Orlando.

The Orlando Magic on Wednesday honored the Pulse nightclub massacre victims at their home opener. A large mural that has been painted on the building in which the GLBT Community Center of Central Florida is located and banners with “Orlando Strong” and “Orlando United” on them are among the tributes that are now located throughout the city.

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Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, third from left, hands President Barack Obama an #OrlandoUnited T-shirt on the tarmac at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Fla., on June 16, 2016. (Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers)

The OneOrlando Fund, which Dyer created after the shooting, raised $29.5 million for the victims and their families and loved ones. This figure includes more than $9.5 million that Equality Florida, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, raised through a GoFundMe campaign it launched hours after the massacre.

The fund has distributed the money to the families of those who died inside the nightclub and those who survived the massacre. Dyer told the Blade the city is working to mediate a handful of unresolved claims among family members who cannot agree on how to distribute the funds.

These cases would move into probate court if mediation efforts fail.

“We are hopeful,” said Dyer.

Orlando Health, which operates the Orlando Regional Medical Center that is located a few blocks north of the Pulse nightclub, and Florida Hospital announced in August they will not bill those they treated after the massacre.

Dyer told the Blade his administration continues to respond to the physical and psychological needs of first responders, city employees and others who responded to the Pulse nightclub and provided assistance to the victims’ families and loved ones and those who survived the massacre. The city also continues to respond to requests about releasing 911 calls from those who were inside the nightclub when the gunman opened fire.

Hurricane Matthew prompted organizers of the annual Orlando Pride festival to postpone the event that had been scheduled to take place in Lake Eola Park in downtown Orlando on Oct. 8. The festival is slated to take place on Nov. 12, which is five months to the day after the massacre.

Artists last week unveiled a new mural that was made behind a memorial fence that now surrounds Pulse. Dyer has previously said he supports a permanent memorial to the victims at the nightclub.

“The national press has moved on, but we’re dealing with myriad issues,” Dyer told the Blade.

Pulse massacre ‘darkest day’ in Orlando’s history

Dyer earlier this month described the Pulse nightclub massacre as the “darkest day” in his city’s history when he spoke at the opening of the 2016 Out & Equal Workplace Summit that took place at Walt Disney World. He also said he called his 26-year-old son to make sure he was safe after he learned about the shooting from Deputy Orlando Police Chief Robert Anzueto.

“I didn’t know if he had ever been to Pulse; but it was a club that was welcoming to everyone, gay, straight or anything else for that matter,” said Dyer. “He was safely in bed and allowed me to go do everything that I needed to do.”

Dyer told the Blade on Thursday that his city “was able to respond” to the massacre “with love and compassion and unity.”

“We probably have a bit of a mission in the world to show what a community can do and what a community can show in response to tragedy,” he said.

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14 Comments

14 Comments

  1. Luis Duran

    October 28, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    True and devout Muslims hate gays. Their religion commands death to homosexuals. Mohammed himself commanded
    “If you find anyone doing as Lot’s people did, kill the one who does it, and the one to whom it is done.” Mohammed also said “War is deceit.” Think about that the next time you see some teary-eyed, candle-holding head bagger proclaiming “lslam is peace.”

    • Harshan

      October 31, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      I have a Muslim friend. I’ve known him for years. He attends a gay social group, and when he lives in Sacramento, he’s active in the gay community center. He has never attempted killing anyone. My theory is that he’s just a nice guy.

      • Luis Duran

        November 1, 2016 at 9:58 am

        I am sure he is a “nice guy” but if he truly rejects the hate and violence (jihad) commanded by his religion, he is about as much a true Muslim as I eating Hostess cupcakes daily and going to the gym twice a month is a dedicated fitness buff.

        • Harshan

          November 1, 2016 at 11:58 am

          That’s unkind. It isn’t so much his religion as it is his background. He’s not observant. He is also schizophrenic, so life is hard enough for him without attributing things to him that don’t apply. Kindness used to be a Christian virtue.

          • Luis Duran

            November 1, 2016 at 4:29 pm

            You yourself said “he is not observant”. That explains why he likely us a

          • Harshan

            November 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm

            Or maybe generalizations about groups of people admit to a lot of exceptions.

          • Luis Duran

            November 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm

            The head of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi obtained a BA, MA, and PhD in Islamic studies. Surly he and individuals like him know their religion quite well. He and other like-minded scholars have no issues with preaching in a frenzied manner death to gays, apostates, stoning for adultery, warfare against non-believers, etc. and they can rattle off the Koranic verses that justify such violence.

            How does a non-Muslim (Infidel), politician, religious leader, celebrity, well-meaning ignoramus, etc. with little knowledge of the Islamic faith, who earnestly defends it, know more about it than a learned and dedicated scholar such as al-Baghdadi?

          • Harshan

            November 2, 2016 at 5:49 pm

            There are evangelical preachers with equivalent degrees (BA, M,Div, D,Min) who seem to specialize in preaching in a frenzied manner, advocating death to gays, apostates, imaginary persecutors, and they can rattle off Bible verses to justify their positions. There are a lot of them, but one example is Kevin Swanson. He has an M.Div degree, which takes as long as an MA plus a PhD. He is so extreme that he was even ejected by an anti-gay country! Do all Christians agree with him? Not Lutherans (ELCA), Episcopalians and Presbyterians (USA), whose ministers can officiate at gay weddings.

          • Luis Duran

            November 2, 2016 at 9:26 pm

            When was the last time a gay was beheaded by an Episcopalian, thrown from a high building by a Baptist, or crucified by a Catholic all in accordance with Christian law?

          • Luis Duran

            November 1, 2016 at 4:34 pm

            You yourself said “he is not observant”. This likely explains why he is a “nice guy” and does not bomb, burn, behead and brutalize” like the devout and observant”. Hopefully he will remain non-observant. To devout Muslims, your friend is no better than a non-Muslim (Infidel).

          • Harshan

            November 1, 2016 at 4:47 pm

            The rest of his family is observant. The Muslims across the street are also very nice people. They live next door to the Baptist pastor.

          • Luis Duran

            November 1, 2016 at 10:00 pm

            If they know their son is gay and do not threaten or harm him they can’t be all that observant. Most likely they are like me, a cupcake eater who claims to be a fitness buff.

  2. Harshan

    October 29, 2016 at 8:36 am

    I was worried about myself for a while, because I never heard of this Anthesis of which you wrote. Then it became clear that the author just misspoll it and left out a sillybell. Now I’m worried about the spellchekker.

  3. Toitchynuts

    October 30, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Too bad this worthless mayor wasn’t massacred in the gay club

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Equality Act, contorted as a danger by anti-LGBTQ forces, is all but dead

No political willpower to force vote or reach a compromise

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Despite having President Biden in the White House and Democratic majorities in both chambers of Congress, efforts to update federal civil rights laws to strengthen the prohibition on discrimination against LGBTQ people by passing the Equality Act are all but dead as opponents of the measure have contorted it beyond recognition.

Political willpower is lacking to find a compromise that would be acceptable to enough Republican senators to end a filibuster on the bill — a tall order in any event — nor is there the willpower to force a vote on the Equality Act as opponents stoke fears about transgender kids in sports and not even unanimity in the Democratic caucus in favor of the bill is present, stakeholders who spoke to the Blade on condition of anonymity said.

In fact, there are no imminent plans to hold a vote on the legislation even though Pride month is days away, which would be an opportune time for Congress to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ community by holding a vote on the legislation.

If the Equality Act were to come up for a Senate vote in the next month, it would not have the support to pass. Continued assurances that bipartisan talks are continuing on the legislation have yielded no evidence of additional support, let alone the 10 Republicans needed to end a filibuster.

“I haven’t really heard an update either way, which is usually not good,” one Democratic insider said. “My understanding is that our side was entrenched in a no-compromise mindset and with [Sen. Joe] Manchin saying he didn’t like the bill, it doomed it this Congress. And the bullying of hundreds of trans athletes derailed our message and our arguments of why it was broadly needed.”

The only thing keeping the final nail from being hammered into the Equality Act’s coffin is the unwillingness of its supporters to admit defeat. Other stakeholders who spoke to the Blade continued to assert bipartisan talks are ongoing, strongly pushing back on any conclusion the legislation is dead.

Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said the Equality Act is “alive and well,” citing widespread public support he said includes “the majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents and a growing number of communities across the country engaging and mobilizing every day in support of the legislation.”

“They understand the urgent need to pass this bill and stand up for LGBTQ people across our country,” David added. “As we engage with elected officials, we have confidence that Congress will listen to the voices of their constituents and continue fighting for the Equality Act through the lengthy legislative process.  We will also continue our unprecedented campaign to grow the already-high public support for a popular bill that will save lives and make our country fairer and more equal for all. We will not stop until the Equality Act is passed.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), chief sponsor of the Equality Act in the Senate, also signaled through a spokesperson work continues on the legislation, refusing to give up on expectations the legislation would soon become law.

“Sen. Merkley and his staff are in active discussions with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to try to get this done,” McLennan said. “We definitely see it as a key priority that we expect to become law.”

A spokesperson Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who had promised to force a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate on the day the U.S. House approved it earlier this year, pointed to a March 25 “Dear Colleague” letter in which he identified the Equality Act as one of several bills he’d bring up for a vote.

Despite any assurances, the hold up on the bill is apparent. Although the U.S. House approved the legislation earlier this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee hasn’t even reported out the bill yet to the floor in the aftermath of the first-ever Senate hearing on the bill in March. A Senate Judiciary Committee Democratic aide, however, disputed that inaction as evidence the Equality Act is dead in its tracks: “Bipartisan efforts on a path forward are ongoing.”

Democrats are quick to blame Republicans for inaction on the Equality Act, but with Manchin withholding his support for the legislation they can’t even count on the entirety of their caucus to vote “yes” if it came to the floor. Progressives continue to advocate an end to the filibuster to advance legislation Biden has promised as part of his agenda, but even if they were to overcome headwinds and dismantle the institution needing 60 votes to advance legislation, the Equality Act would likely not have majority support to win approval in the Senate with a 50-50 party split.

The office of Manchin, who has previously said he couldn’t support the Equality Act over concerns about public schools having to implement the transgender protections applying to sports and bathrooms, hasn’t responded to multiple requests this year from the Blade on the legislation and didn’t respond to a request to comment for this article.

Meanwhile, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who declined to co-sponsor the Equality Act this year after having signed onto the legislation in the previous Congress, insisted through a spokesperson talks are still happening across the aisle despite the appearances the legislation is dead.

“There continues to be bipartisan support for passing a law that protects the civil rights of Americans, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson. “The Equality Act was a starting point for negotiations, and in its current form, it cannot pass. That’s why there are ongoing discussions among senators and stakeholders about a path forward.”

Let’s face it: Anti-LGBTQ forces have railroaded the debate by making the Equality Act about an end to women’s sports by allowing transgender athletes and danger to women in sex-segregated places like bathrooms and prisons. That doesn’t even get into resolving the issue on drawing the line between civil rights for LGBTQ people and religious freedom, which continues to be litigated in the courts as the U.S. Supreme Court is expected any day now to issue a ruling in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to determine if foster care agencies can reject same-sex couples over religious objections.

For transgender Americans, who continue to report discrimination and violence at high rates, the absence of the Equality Act may be most keenly felt.

Mara Keisling, outgoing executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, disputed any notion the Equality Act is dead and insisted the legislation is “very much alive.”

“We remain optimistic despite misinformation from the opposition,” Keisling said. “NCTE and our movement partners are still working fruitfully on the Equality Act with senators. In fact, we are gaining momentum with all the field organizing we’re doing, like phone banking constituents to call their senators. Legislating takes time. Nothing ever gets through Congress quickly. We expect to see a vote during this Congress, and we are hopeful we can win.”

But one Democratic source said calls to members of Congress against the Equality Act, apparently coordinated by groups like the Heritage Foundation, have has outnumbered calls in favor of it by a substantial margin, with a particular emphasis on Manchin.

No stories are present in the media about same-sex couples being kicked out of a restaurant for holding hands or transgender people for using the restroom consistent with their gender identity, which would be perfectly legal in 25 states thanks to the patchwork of civil rights laws throughout the United States and inadequate protections under federal law.

Tyler Deaton, senior adviser for the American Unity Fund, which has bolstered the Republican-led Fairness for All Act as an alternative to the Equality Act, said he continues to believe the votes are present for a compromise form of the bill.

“I know for a fact there is a supermajority level of support in the Senate for a version of the Equality Act that is fully protective of both LGBTQ civil rights and religious freedom,” Deaton said. “There is interest on both sides of the aisle in getting something done this Congress.”

Deaton, however, didn’t respond to a follow-up inquiry on what evidence exists of agreeing on this compromise.

Biden has already missed the goal he campaigned on in the 2020 election to sign the Equality Act into law within his first 100 days in office. Although Biden renewed his call to pass the legislation in his speech to Congress last month, as things stand now that appears to be a goal he won’t realize for the remainder of this Congress.

Nor has the Biden administration made the Equality Act an issue for top officials within the administration as it pushes for an infrastructure package as a top priority. One Democratic insider said Louisa Terrell, legislative affairs director for the White House, delegated work on the Equality Act to a deputy as opposed to handling it herself.

To be sure, Biden has demonstrated support for the LGBTQ community through executive action at an unprecedented rate, signing an executive order on day one ordering federal agencies to implement the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year in Bostock v. Clayton County to the fullest extent possible and dismantling former President Trump’s transgender military ban. Biden also made historic LGBTQ appointments with the confirmation of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Rachel Levine as assistant secretary of health.

A White House spokesperson insisted Biden’s team across the board remains committed to the Equality Act, pointing to his remarks to Congress.

“President Biden has urged Congress to get the Equality Act to his desk so he can sign it into law and provide long overdue civil rights protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, and he remains committed to seeing this legislation passed as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said. “The White House and its entire legislative team remains in ongoing and close coordination with organizations, leaders, members of Congress, including the Equality Caucus, and staff to ensure we are working across the aisle to push the Equality Act forward.”

But at least in the near-term, that progress will fall short of fulfilling the promise of updating federal civil rights law with the Equality Act, which will mean LGBTQ people won’t be able to rely on those protections when faced with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

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D.C. bill to ban LGBTQ panic defense delayed by Capitol security

Delivery of bill to Congress was held up due to protocols related to Jan. 6 riots

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New fencing around the Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented some D.C. bills from being delivered to the Hill for a required congressional review. (Blade file photo by Michael K. Lavers)

A bill approved unanimously last December by the D.C. Council to ban the so-called LGBTQ panic defense has been delayed from taking effect as a city law because the fence installed around the U.S. Capitol following the Jan. 6 insurrection prevented the law from being delivered to Congress.

According to Eric Salmi, communications director for D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), who guided the bill through the Council’s legislative process, all bills approved by the Council and signed by the D.C. mayor must be hand-delivered to Congress for a required congressional review.

“What happened was when the Capitol fence went up after the January insurrection, it created an issue where we physically could not deliver laws to Congress per the congressional review period,” Salmi told the Washington Blade.

Among the bills that could not immediately be delivered to Congress was the Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter Panic Defense Prohibition and Hate Crimes Response Amendment Act of 2020, which was approved by the Council on a second and final vote on Dec. 15.

Between the time the bill was signed by Mayor Muriel Bowser and published in the D.C. Register under procedural requirements for all bills, it was not ready to be transmitted to Congress until Feb. 16, the Council’s legislative record for the bill shows.

Salmi said the impasse in delivering the bill to Congress due to the security fence prevented the bill from reaching Congress on that date and prevented the mandatory 60-day congressional review period for this bill from beginning at that time. He noted that most bills require a 30 legislative day review by Congress.

But the Evangelista-Hunter bill, named after a transgender woman and a gay man who died in violent attacks by perpetrators who attempted to use the trans and gay panic defense, includes a law enforcement related provision that under the city’s Home Rule Charter passed by Congress in the early 1970s requires a 60-day congressional review.

“There is a chance it goes into effect any day now, just given the timeline is close to being up,” Salmi said on Tuesday. “I don’t know the exact date it was delivered, but I do know the countdown is on,” said Salmi, who added, “I would expect any day now it should go into effect and there’s nothing stopping it other than an insurrection in January.”

If the delivery to Congress had not been delayed, the D.C. Council’s legislative office estimated the congressional review would have been completed by May 12.

A congressional source who spoke on condition of being identified only as a senior Democratic aide, said the holdup of D.C. bills because of the Capitol fence has been corrected.

“The House found an immediate workaround, when this issue first arose after the Jan. 6 insurrection,” the aide said.

“This is yet another reason why D.C. Council bills should not be subject to a congressional review period and why we need to grant D.C. statehood,” the aide said.

The aide added that while no disapproval resolution had been introduced in Congress to overturn the D.C. Evangelista-Hunter bill, House Democrats would have defeated such a resolution.

“House Democrats support D.C. home rule, statehood, and LGBTQ rights,” said the aide.

LGBTQ rights advocates have argued that a ban on using a gay or transgender panic defense in criminal trials is needed to prevent defense attorneys from inappropriately asking juries to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity or expression is to blame for a defendant’s criminal act, including murder.

Some attorneys have argued that their clients “panicked” after discovering the person against whom they committed a violent crime was gay or transgender, prompting them to act in a way they believed to be a form of self-defense.

In addition to its provision banning the LGBTQ panic defense, the Evangelista-Hunter bill includes a separate provision that strengthens the city’s existing hate crimes law by clarifying that hatred need not be the sole motivating factor for an underlying crime such as assault, murder, or threats to be prosecuted as a hate crime.

LGBTQ supportive prosecutors have said the clarification was needed because it is often difficult to prove to a jury that hatred is the only motive behind a violent crime. The prosecutors noted that juries have found defendants not guilty of committing a hate crime on grounds that they believed other motives were involved in a particular crime after defense lawyers argued that the law required “hate” to be the only motive in order to find someone guilty of a hate crime.

Salmi noted that while the hate crime clarification and panic defense prohibition provisions of the Evangelista-Hunter bill will become law as soon as the congressional review is completed, yet another provision in the bill will not become law after the congressional review because there are insufficient funds in the D.C. budget to cover the costs of implementing the provision.

The provision gives the D.C. Office of Human Rights and the Office of the D.C. Attorney General authority to investigate hate related discrimination at places of public accommodation. Salmi said the provision expands protections against discrimination to include web-based retailers or online delivery services that are not physically located in D.C.

“That is subject to appropriations,” Salmi said. “And until it is funded in the upcoming budget it cannot be legally enforced.”

He said that at Council member Allen’s request, the Council added language to the bill that ensures that all other provisions of the legislation that do not require additional funding – including the ban on use of the LGBTQ panic defense and the provision clarifying that hatred doesn’t have to be the sole motive for a hate crime – will take effect as soon as the congressional approval process is completed.

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D.C. man charged with 2020 anti-gay death threat rearrested

Defendant implicated in three anti-LGBTQ incidents since 2011

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A D.C. man arrested in August 2020 for allegedly threatening to kill a gay man outside the victim’s apartment in the city’s Adams Morgan neighborhood and who was released while awaiting trial was arrested again two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill another man in an unrelated incident.

D.C. Superior Court records show that Jalal Malki, who was 37 at the time of his 2020 arrest on a charge of bias-related attempts to do bodily harm against the gay man, was charged on May 4, 2021 with unlawful entry, simple assault, threats to kidnap and injure a person, and attempted possession of a prohibited weapon against the owner of a vacant house at 4412 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Court charging documents state that Malki was allegedly staying at the house without permission as a squatter. An arrest affidavit filed in court by D.C. police says Malki allegedly threatened to kill the man who owns the house shortly after the man arrived at the house while Malki was inside.

According to the affidavit, Malki walked up to the owner of the house while the owner was sitting in his car after having called police and told him, “If you come back here, I’m going to kill you.” While making that threat Malki displayed what appeared to be a gun in his waistband, but which was later found to be a toy gun, the affidavit says.

Malki then walked back inside the house minutes before police arrived and arrested him. Court records show that similar to the court proceedings following his 2020 arrest for threatening the gay man, a judge in the latest case ordered Malki released while awaiting trial. In both cases, the judge ordered him to stay away from the two men he allegedly threatened to kill.

An arrest affidavit filed by D.C. police in the 2020 case states that Malki allegedly made the threats inside an apartment building where the victim lived on the 2300 block of Champlain Street, N.W. It says Malki was living in a nearby building but often visited the building where the victim lived.

“Victim 1 continued to state during an interview that it was not the first time that Defendant 1 had made threats to him, but this time Defendant 1 stated that if he caught him outside, he would ‘fucking kill him.’” the affidavit says. It quotes the victim as saying during this time Malki repeatedly called the victim a “fucking faggot.”

The affidavit, prepared by the arresting officers, says that after the officers arrested Malki and were leading him to a police transport vehicle to be booked for the arrest, he expressed an “excited utterance” that he was “in disbelief that officers sided with the ‘fucking faggot.’”

Court records show that Malki is scheduled to appear in court on June 4 for a status hearing for both the 2020 arrest and the arrest two weeks ago for allegedly threatening to kill the owner of the house in which police say he was illegally squatting.

Superior Court records show that Malki had been arrested three times between 2011 and 2015 in cases unrelated to the 2021 and 2020 cases for allegedly also making threats of violence against people. Two of the cases appear to be LGBTQ related, but prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not list the cases as hate crimes.

In the first of the three cases, filed in July 2011, Malki allegedly shoved a man inside Dupont Circle and threatened to kill him after asking the man why he was wearing a purple shirt.

“Victim 1 believes the assault occurred because Suspect 1 believes Victim 1 is a homosexual,” the police arrest affidavit says.

Court records show prosecutors charged Malki with simple assault and threats to do bodily harm in the case. But the court records show that on Sept. 13, 2011, D.C. Superior Court Judge Stephen F. Eilperin found Malki not guilty on both charges following a non-jury trial.

The online court records do not state why the judge rendered a not guilty verdict. With the courthouse currently closed to the public and the press due to COVID-related restrictions, the Washington Blade couldn’t immediately obtain the records to determine the judge’s reason for the verdict.

In the second case, court records show Malki was arrested by D.C. police outside the Townhouse Tavern bar and restaurant at 1637 R St., N.W. on Nov. 7, 2012 for allegedly threatening one or more people with a knife after employees ordered Malki to leave the establishment for “disorderly behavior.”

At the time, the Townhouse Tavern was located next door to the gay nightclub Cobalt, which before going out of business two years ago, was located at the corner of 17th and R Streets, N.W.

The police arrest affidavit in the case says Malki allegedly pointed a knife in a threatening way at two of the tavern’s employees who blocked his path when he attempted to re-enter the tavern. The affidavit says he was initially charged by D.C. police with assault with a dangerous weapon – knife. Court records, however, show that prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office lowered the charges to two counts of simple assault. The records show that on Jan. 15, 2013, Malki pleaded guilty to the two charges as part of a plea bargain arrangement.

The records show that Judge Marissa Demeo on that same day issued a sentence of 30 days for each of the two charges but suspended all 30 days for both counts. She then sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for both charges and ordered that he undergo alcohol and drug testing and undergo treatment if appropriate.

In the third case prior to the 2020 and 2021 cases, court records show Malki was arrested outside the Cobalt gay nightclub on March 14, 2015 on multiple counts of simple assault, attempted assault with a dangerous weapon – knife, possession of a prohibited weapon – knife, and unlawful entry.

The arrest affidavit says an altercation started on the sidewalk outside the bar when for unknown reasons, Malki grabbed a female customer who was outside smoking and attempted to pull her toward him. When her female friend came to her aid, Malki allegedly got “aggressive” by threatening the woman and “removed what appeared to be a knife from an unknown location” and pointed it at the woman’s friend in a threatening way, the affidavit says.

It says a Cobalt employee minutes later ordered Malki to leave the area and he appeared to do so. But others noticed that he walked toward another entrance door to Cobalt and attempted to enter the establishment knowing he had been ordered not to return because of previous problems with his behavior, the affidavit says. When he attempted to push away another employee to force his way into Cobalt, Malki fell to the ground during a scuffle and other employees held him on the ground while someone else called D.C. police.

Court records show that similar to all of Malki’s arrests, a judge released him while awaiting trial and ordered him to stay away from Cobalt and all of those he was charged with threatening and assaulting.

The records show that on Sept. 18, 2015, Malki agreed to a plea bargain offer by prosecutors in which all except two of the charges – attempted possession of a prohibited weapon and simple assault – were dropped. Judge Alfred S. Irving Jr. on Oct. 2, 2015 sentenced Malki to 60 days of incarnation for each of the two charges but suspended all but five days, which he allowed Malki to serve on weekends, the court records show.

The judge ordered that the two five-day jail terms could be served concurrently, meaning just five days total would be served, according to court records. The records also show that Judge Irving sentenced Malki to one year of supervised probation for each of the two counts and ordered that he enter an alcohol treatment program and stay away from Cobalt.

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