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Trump supporters assault D.C. gay man: report

Attackers shouted ‘faggot,’ wore ‘Make America Great Again’ hats

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anti-gay attack, gay news, Trump supporters assault, Washington Blade, hate crime, Robert Richard Brice Kohler

Robert Richard Brice Kohler told police he was assaulted by Trump supporters on Feb. 1. (Photo via Facebook)

A gay man told D.C. police he was repeatedly hit in the face and head by objects thrown by four men while he was walking his dog near Logan Circle on Feb. 1 and one of the attackers shouted, “This is what a Trump America looks like, faggot!”

A police report, which lists the incident as an anti-gay hate crime, says Logan Circle resident Robert Richard Brice Kohler told police the incident began about 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1 while he walked his dog in front of a large row house at 1334 Vermont Ave., N.W.

“Victim 1 was walking his dog near the listed location when he became aware of the presence of Suspect 1 through Suspect 4,” the police report says. “Victim 1 heard Suspect 1 state, “Hey Snowflake! This is what a Trump America looks like, faggot!”

The report continues: “Suddenly, without provocation, Suspect 1 through Suspect 4 began throwing objects at Victim 1, striking him countless times in the face and head. Victim 1 suffered injuries and fled home to tend to those injuries,” the report says. “The suspects fled on foot.”

Acting D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the police LGBT Liaison Unit and who prepared the report, told the Blade in an email that he reached out to Kohler after seeing a Facebook posting by Kohler describing the incident.

In his posting, Kohler said two of the four men who attacked him wore hats bearing the slogan, “Make America Great Again.” The slogan was used as the theme of President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

In response to a request by the Blade, D.C. police spokesperson Aquita Brown released a description of the appearance of the suspects that was not included in the publicly released police report. Brown said all four of the suspects were white males.

All four suspects were 20-30 years old, and ranged in height from about 5 feet 10 inches to about 6 feet tall, she said. “Two of them were wearing red hats,” Brown said in an email.

The police report prepared by Parson lists the incident as an aggravated assault, which is classified under D.C. law as a felony with a maximum penalty of a $10,000 fine and/or a prison term of up to 10 years.

Kohler didn’t immediately respond to a message from the Blade asking to speak with him.

He made it clear in his Facebook posting that the hats worn by two of the suspects who attacked him bore the “Make America Great Again” slogan from the Trump campaign.

“I share this with you because I have grown so tired of hearing just how perfect and great Trump supporters are and have been,” he stated in his posting. “That they are above anything like what happened to us,” he stated in referring to him and his dog Pepper. “They aren’t.”

Police spokesperson Brown said the investigation into the assault against Kohler is continuing. Anyone who has information about the case should call police at 202-727-9099 or submit information to the police TEXT TIP LINE by text messaging 450411.

The city’s Crime Solvers program currently offers a reward of up to $1,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for a crime committed in the District of Columbia.

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44 Comments

44 Comments

  1. lnm3921

    February 8, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    These are the kind of people Miss Milo and the Trump Deplorables need to meet!

    • Jdawg Laurence

      February 9, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      You realize odds are this attack was by leftist ANTIFA members trying to make Trump look bad, or even completely fabricated.

      There have been so many fake attacks by “Trump supporters” so far that have turned out to be hoaxes, including the Muslim lady in Dearborn whose “hijab was ripped off.”

      • lnm3921

        February 9, 2017 at 6:54 pm

        Babe, you need to realize that Trump doesn’t need anyone to make him look bad, he does an excellent job on his own without counting the contributions of others like Kelly Anne Conway, Tim Spicer and Steve Bannon!

        • Jdawg Laurence

          February 19, 2017 at 6:35 am

          Ignorance is bliss as they say. Keep being delusional “babe”. He’s doing an amazing job as anyone with half a brain can see.

          • lnm3921

            February 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm

            Alternative ”facts” do not constitute an amazing job. You, Trump and his other crony sycophants can spin it all you want, but that will NEVER make it what you want!

            Even Fox’s Shepard Smith had enough of your circus calling it out for what it is! You can try and get him fired and boycott half the world, but you’ll NEVER make a silk purse out of your sow’s ear and I’m talking about Trump and his administration not just KellyAnne!

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 22, 2017 at 12:52 am

            Holy sh!t, you’re pretty angry aren’t ya? Had to reply to me twice even, so I must have struck a few nerves there.

            The only one’s spinning facts are sh!thole medias like CNN and MSNBC, but you’ll never accept that. You’ve been too far brainwashed already to actually see from the source whether what they tell you to think is actually true or not.

          • lnm3921

            February 22, 2017 at 7:02 pm

            I reply to you because you say nothing but balderdash S”trump”et and try to pass it of as being credible!

            All you and the Trump Administration promote is propaganda NOT news, NOT facts and NOT truth! Even Matt Shepherd and Chris Wallace of Fox news have had enough and spoken out! You will never accept that!

            You seek to silence anything or anyone that won’t brown nose Trump and depict him as wonderful. Arachnid KellyAnne can spin all the webs of deceit she pleases and Spicer can keep telling us how tough and wonderful Trump has been in regards to Russia or Mexico. But we can think for ourselves and we see and hear Trump’s behavior and responses are on the issues caught on film. That hasn’t been edited. You can’t spin that into something it isn’t and can’t dupe us into thinking it’s something else!!!

            Trump is just like Milo Yiannopolous and sooner or later he will self-destruct as Miss Milo did too and soon thereafter will be his comeuppance!

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 23, 2017 at 5:50 am

            I think you need to take a good look in the mirror. You claim you can think for yourself but you believe every word anyone says, but only if it’s anti Trump.

            Also, Milo hasn’t self destructed if you actually looked into anything, you’d see that. He’s going to be touring again already. I guess even “miss Milo” is tougher than you.

            Finally, is Miss Milo supposed to be an insult? Because if it is, it is either an insult on his homosexuality, in which case you are a homophobe; an insult that suggests he is ‘weak like a woman’ in which case you are a sexist; or an insult that suggests you are transphobic. Or more likely, all three! Quite the hypocritical bigot, aren’t you?

          • lnm3921

            February 23, 2017 at 7:47 pm

            You should get yourself to an emergency room quickly for surgery, you obviously have a chronic bowel obstruction, you’re so full of it!

            So Miss Milo is touring again already. So what? A lot of has beens and wannabes do all the time! She’s been marked with the stigma of being a pedophile. That doesn’t rub off. Did you see Trump or Steven Bannon, her former boss, defend her or call upon CPAC to reinstate her invitation? NO! She abruptly resigned from Breitbart meaning she was told to resign to save face before being fired! They won’t stand by her!

            I’m the bigot when Miss Milo says that Trans people have a personality disorder and she is on record saying gay men can NEVER be happy and are irresponsible and drug addicted? She’s self-hating. And yes, she’s a she. Only a woman would wear a pearl necklace and pearl bracelets on TV (Bill Maher show). Her arm mannerisms are flaming! If she’s not a woman, then she’ll due until one comes along!

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 24, 2017 at 2:17 am

            So are you insulting him for acting like a woman then? Just want to be clear since he is the bigot who is intolerant of transgenders, yet you are claiming he is one and acting as if this is a bad thing, suggesting you are the bigot. Even after I point it out to you, you still don’t even recognize it either. I’m laughing at your stupidity, but maybe I shouldn’t be because it’s just sad.

            So what do you think of Bill Maher?

      • Filthy Liar

        February 11, 2017 at 10:47 am

        Please. The Antifa doesn’t need to fake attacks, actual fascists do that plenty.

        • Jdawg Laurence

          February 19, 2017 at 6:37 am

          Fake attacks? ANTIFA don’t fake attacks, they make them happen. You people are insanely deluded it’s hard to believe.

          • Filthy Liar

            February 19, 2017 at 9:39 am

            I mean, it’s true that if nobody resisted them the fascists wouldn’t hurt anyone until they’d got the camps running, but preemptive self defense is a thing.

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 22, 2017 at 12:49 am

            Except the fascists are ANTIFA. How dense are you?

          • Filthy Liar

            February 22, 2017 at 10:54 am

            Nobody is buying what you’re selling. The fascists are the people getting hit in the face and then crying about it on youtube.

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 23, 2017 at 5:54 am

            Uh… considering the election results and the polls across Europe showing growing support for the right wing, and the tens of thousands posting comments on forums that align exactly with what I’m saying, I’d say A LOT of people are buying what I’m saying, and everyone of them is smarter than you. You may be the only person not buying it, other than your other ANTIFA terrorist friends. Even my left-wing aunt calls ANTIFA the “real fascists.”

            I love how transparent you are that you’re ANTIFA.

          • Filthy Liar

            February 23, 2017 at 7:40 am

            Why would I pretend otherwise? Punching Nazis is cool and good, this is a universal truth.

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 24, 2017 at 2:13 am

            Sure, but pepper spraying a woman who supports Trump isn’t cool or good. Maybe if you actually focused only on Nazis instead of attacking everyone who disagrees with you, you could claim some sort of moral high ground, but clearly you are immensely delusional.

          • Filthy Liar

            February 24, 2017 at 6:34 am

            What’s a matter dude, you afraid of getting punched?

      • Penguin

        February 12, 2017 at 10:08 am

        You make the mistake of even thinking an attack took place. There were zero witnesses, and at 7PM? No way this happened.

        • Jdawg Laurence

          February 19, 2017 at 6:37 am

          Ignorance is bliss. ANTIFA don’t care what time it is, if they can get out their pent up energy from sitting in their mom’s basements all day for a month, they’ll do what it takes. Thankfully soon, they’ll have to actually work to make money rather than being paid to assault people and incite riots.

  2. Peter

    February 9, 2017 at 11:05 am

    The police can find the attackers at a local Antifa meeting. This is clearly fake news/a false flag attack.

    • Popeye

      February 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      How is that “clear”? No gay man has ever been assaulted simply for being gay? Did he inflict those bruises on his own face for the sake of the “fake news” story?

      • Peter

        February 9, 2017 at 12:59 pm

        Washington DC has hardly any Republicans at all, and the republicans that do live there tend to have jobs & thus have no time or motivation to beat people up on the street (even if they thought they could get away with it).

        Four MAGA chads feeling emboldened enough to attack a random middle aged dishevelled guy on the street is inconceivable. However, finding four antifa freaks willing to put on MAGA hats and beat someone up is easy, and this scenario makes perfect sense in a place like DC.

        • olt327

          February 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm

          I question whether this attack happened at all. 7pm at Logan Circle is teeming with people–and there were no witnesses? The attack was at night, but the photo was taken in daylight–so why are his bruises fresh? And, like you said, the whole thing just seems very contrived.

          If this happened, I feel terrible for the guy. But, that said, virtually all of the “attacked by thugs in Trump hats” like this one turned out to be hoaxes.

      • Janis Totham-Davies

        February 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

        Gay people have been attacked for centuries, gay people have been murdered for being gay this is world wide news! Where have you been living?

        • Popeye

          February 9, 2017 at 4:14 pm

          Of course I know that. Did you even read my comment? I was replying to the guy saying this is “fake news.”

      • Justin White

        February 9, 2017 at 9:27 pm

        It wouldn’t be the first one – there were a few others who have done exactly that on social media (although instead of beating themselves up – they used cosmetic movie techniques) and when followed up with police, they admitted it was false.

        I have yet to see a real example of Trump supporters beating up anyone – but lots of videos of Anti-Trumpers attacking Trump supporters.

        • Scott Green

          February 10, 2017 at 12:14 am

          Oh really?
          http://crooksandliars.com/2017/01/thugs-james-okeefe-event-send-progressive
          I met one of the victims shortly after this happened.
          There’s also the massacre in Quebec, the shooting in Seattle, among other things.

          • Jdawg Laurence

            February 19, 2017 at 6:40 am

            Thing is you have to actually look for examples of assaults by Trump supporters. Assaults by Anti-Trumpers are so constant you can pretty much put bets on whether they’ll happen on any given day, and you’ll end up on top if you bet on them happening.

  3. dlampo

    February 9, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    This will likely turn out to be one of many fake “hate” crimes by people who hate Trump.

  4. Jdawg Laurence

    February 9, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    “This is what Trump’s America looks like!” Is not something a Trump supporter would say, to intentionally make him look bad. The leftist ANTIFA are so dumb, they can’t even come up with a decent way to frame Trump supporters.

    I mean “This is what Trump’s America looks like!” actually sounds like a headline straight out of leftist BuzzFeed or Huffington Post.

  5. Kirk

    February 9, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Yeah, I’m calling BS. It’s not that I don’t think there are people out there that would do this, it’s just that the whole sequence doesn’t make sense.

    First,Logan Circle is a pretty densely populated part of town and no one witnessed a group of red-hatted trump supporters abusing a gay man out walking his dog? I find that hard to believe.

    Second, Logan Circle isn’t really the type of place that Trump supporters would hang out. It’s far enough away from the mall that out of towners don’t spend much time up there. There are so few Trump supporters in DC that a roving banding of Trump supporting locals is laughable to me.

    Third, and perhaps most telling, the victim went and posted about it on Facebook and never called the cops. The cops called him because they saw his post.

    None of that adds up.

    • Justin White

      February 9, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      That’s the first red flag right there – most of the time when they post to facebook and then the police follow up from that it turns out to be false.

      The article even goes out of it’s way to say “Suddenly, without provocation” – if you have to go out of your way to say this, it’s typically false. I mean just look at him – he’s not of a ‘type’ to immediately be identified as LGBTQ. So unless he said or did something there’d be no indication of his sexuality – unless his attackers no him from somewhere in which case he should be able to identify his attackers.

    • Rigelk3

      February 10, 2017 at 12:34 am

      My thoughts exactly. Also, this guy was attacked by four people, and a few minor scrapes and bruises are it for injuries? Bull.

    • J'Marie Marie

      February 10, 2017 at 6:34 pm

      I agree…saw the photo and headline and immediately said BS! Looks like he just fell down and scraped his face. Trump supporters don’t behave like the liberals do, wreaking havoc and destroying property and shouting obscenities. The left will do anything to try and bring negativity towards our President. Not falling for this FAKE story!

      • Kirk

        February 11, 2017 at 8:28 am

        Except for that whole armed take over of government property last year

  6. Ardbeg

    February 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Mr. Kohler should write for Rolling Stone. His attack fantasy fiction is just the kind of writing they like.

  7. yeranass

    February 10, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    I heart all the Brietbart commenters on this article

  8. Penguin

    February 12, 2017 at 9:59 am

    There will be no updates to this story, as a means of protecting the alleged victim from facing charges from police. THe DC police don’t want that to happen, the media don’t want that to happen, so this will just dissappear.

  9. Penguin

    February 18, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Still no witness accounts? You people fell for it. There’s no way this happened as claimed.

  10. Penguin

    February 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Still no updates. Just admit this was a hoax

  11. Penguin

    March 17, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Still no updates. Obvious hoax. NO way zero witnesses at Logan circle at 7PM. Just so long as the media chooses to ignore the story, the police will let an obvious false claim slide..

  12. Penguin

    April 19, 2017 at 9:42 pm

    STill no updates, not a single witness. This is OBVIOUSLY a hoax.

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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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shooting, DC Eagle, assault, hate crime, anti-gay attack, police discrimination, sex police, Sisson, gay news, Washington Blade

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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