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Protester disrupts Trans Day of Remembrance

Activist Ashley Love objects to presence of police chief

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Transgender Day of Remembrance, gay news, Washington Blade

Activist Ashley Love shouted at Police Chief Peter Newsham to get off the stage, saying the Transgender Day of Remembrance was not a ‘prop for the police department.’ (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Organizers and participants of the city’s annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Monday night said they believe the event succeeded in honoring transgender people who lost their lives to violence despite the disruption of the proceedings by a single protester who demanded that D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham leave.

With nearly 200 people looking on at the Metropolitan Community Church of Washington, where the event was held, activist Ashley Love, who describes herself as a transsexual and intersex journalist, began shouting at Newsham to get off the stage, saying the event was not a “prop for the police department.”

The atmosphere became tense when Love walked on stage, where Newsham was sitting beside D.C. Council member David Grosso (I-At-Large), and got into a brief scuffle with the church’s pastor, Rev. Elder Dwayne Johnson, when she grabbed a microphone from his hands and continued shouting for Newsham to leave the stage.

Gay D.C. Police Lt. Brett Parson and Sgt. Jessica Hawkins, who’s transgender, rushed to the stage and stood in front of Newsham, appearing to act as a shield as Love continued to shout at him. Members of the audience, including several trans activists, shouted at Love to stop the disruption.

The commotion subsided to some degree when Newsham left the church through a stage door and Love returned to her seat. Newsham had been scheduled to speak at the event, but he did not return to do so.

Mayor Muriel Bowser arrived at the ceremony minutes after Newsham’s departure. In her remarks at the event she praised both Newsham and the police department for what Bowser said was their strong commitment to combat violence in the city, especially violence targeting the transgender community.

“Today is a day I wish we didn’t have to have,” she said.

As she spoke, Love shouted from her seat that police continue to harass and mistreat transgender people. She cited the monetary settlement earlier this year that the city awarded trans activist Lourdes Ashley Hunter. Hunter sued the city with the assistance of the ACLU for a false arrest stemming from a noise complaint by neighbors at the apartment building where Hunter lives.

“I think it’s important that we recognize that our police department has come a long way in working with the community, the transgender community included,” Bowser told the Washington Blade. “We always have to be vigilant to do more. But I think Chief Newsham and the record of MPD should be commended,” she said.

The tension and drama surrounding Love’s protest intensified minutes after things appeared to have calmed down when veteran transgender activist Earline Budd, the lead organizer of D.C.’s annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, became ill while sitting on stage and nearly fainted. Paramedics that were outside the church as part of their normal duty for appearances by the mayor and police chief were called to assist Budd.

They escorted Budd off the stage and outside the church, where an ambulance was waiting. About a half hour later, much to the relief of the event’s organizers and participants, Budd returned to her seat on the stage. She later told the Blade the excitement over the disruption caused her blood pressure to rise, weakening her and bringing on a fainting spell.

She received a standing ovation upon her return to her seat.

Transgender Day of Remembrance, which has become an international event, was founded in 1998 by transgender activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith to memorialize the murder of Rita Hester, a trans woman who lived in Allston, Mass., according to a write-up by D.C. organizers of this year’s event.

What initially began as a web-based project has since grown into an international day of action held each year on Nov. 20 in more than 200 cities worldwide. Among other things, the event commemorates transgender people who have been murdered in the previous year.

As of this month, there have been 265 reported murders of transgender people throughout the world in 2017, organizers said. That figure includes 25 murders of transgender people in the United States.

So far this year there have not been any trans murders in the District of Columbia, according to D.C. police.

Monday night’s event in D.C. highlighted the murders of 12 transgender women in D.C. dating back to 2000. Of those 12 cases, eight remain unsolved.

“We continue to urge the D.C. MPD and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring some of these cold cases back to the community for information,” the write-up by organizers says.

Monday’s event followed by three days the release by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation and the Trans People of Color Coalition of a report detailing the trans murders this year called “At Time to Act: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America in 2017.”

“The unique and tragic stories featured in this report reflect the obstacles that many transgender Americans – especially trans women of color – face in their daily lives,” the two groups said in a statement.

During Monday’s ceremony in D.C. participants read the names of those murdered in D.C. and some other cities as Rev. Dyan Abena McCray-Peters, pastor of the city’s Unity Fellowship Church, chanted prayers and recited the word “ashay,” which comes from an African tradition of honoring the dead.

Bowser delivered a mayoral declaration denoting the day as Transgender Day of Remembrance in the District of Columbia. Grosso presented a similar declaration passed unanimously by the City Council. David Meadows, chief of staff for D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large) read a letter from Bonds honoring the event and expressing support for the transgender community.

Among those speaking were family members of four transgender women murdered in D.C. in past years. Among them were Judean Jones and Alvin Bethea, the mother and father of Deeniquia “Dee Dee” Dodds, who was stabbed to death at a city bus stop in 2012.

Since their daughter’s death Jones and Bethea have emerged as outspoken advocates for transgender rights. They told the gathering on Monday night they were grateful for the strong support they received from the LGBT community at the time of Dodds’ death. Bethea praised D.C. police for an aggressive investigation that led to the arrest of the person charged with the murder a short time later.

Newsham told the Blade after the event that he decided to leave because he wanted to bring the disruption to an end.

“There’s a lot of frustration in the transgender community with the police across the country,” he said. “I think that here in Washington, D.C. we do a much better job than in some other places. But when somebody stands up like that and they’re voicing that kind of frustration I empathize with that,” he continued. “I understand it. I’m not going to blame that person for being upset and being passionate about that.”

Newsham said that had he spoke he would have pointed out that he isn’t so naïve to think D.C. police are perfect and don’t have a ways to go to improve their interaction with the transgender community. “But I did want people to know I’m willing to move us forward in that direction.”

At least three prominent transgender activists attending the Trans Day of Remembrance event took strong exception to Love’s claim that D.C. police as a force are hostile and threatening to transgender people. D.C. trans activists Dee Curry and Jeri Hughes joined Budd in calling D.C. police as a whole highly supportive to the transgender community.

Trans activist Ruby Corado, founder and executive director of the LGBT community services center Casa Ruby, said she agreed with Love’s concerns. She said a part of the transgender community struggling to survive due to an inability to find gainful employment and who are forced into “survival sex work” continue to be targeted by D.C. police through anti-prostitution crackdowns.

Hughes, who said the community can’t expect the police to exempt transgender people from existing prostitution laws, said the answer is channeling those forced into sex work into employment training programs, some of which the city provides.

“We must call it like it is,” Curry said in remarks at the event. “We know that there are some police among us that are of a different culture and they discriminate. But in Washington, D.C., to be fair and to be honest, we have come a long way and this police department is not that. And we need to acknowledge that.”

Love responded by calling out from her seat that Curry was wrong and that D.C. police continue to harass and threaten trans women of color in the city.

“You had your time,” Curry replied. “Everybody heard you. We want to move on with the proceedings.”

In a statement she sent to the Washington Blade Tuesday morning, Love said, “2017 saw three trans people killed by U.S. police, Kiwi Herring, Sean Hake and Scout Shultz.”

She added, “D.C. police recently paid a $40,000 settlement to the ACLU after unjustly arresting black trans leader Lourdes Hunter, so understandably most trans people of color find it revolting for the D.C. police to usurp and degrade the sacred TDOR and why attendees loudly applauded the removal of controversial Chief Newsham from our ceremony stage, for we came to honor our sisters and brothers tragically stolen by violence, not to be co-opted by those in uniform whose brutality we find unacceptable.”

Participants supportive of Newsham’s appearance said those applauding did so because the disruption appeared to have ended, not because Newsham left the stage and the church.

“Ashley Love is a professional provocateur who revels in invading others’ spaces to promote herself,” said longtime D.C.-area trans advocate Dana Beyer. “The progress our community has made with our allies over the past decade is a testament to the long, hard work of many, and the general ineffectiveness of the tactics of solo disruption,” Beyer said.

https://www.facebook.com/WashingtonBlade/videos/10155913257974222/?hc_ref=ARRWLCtYyIEKGxRr9ZCfJDuc4TMjGLCCrwL0JNu6o4v5layuqkigqarjDMw50oX67x8&pnref=story

D.C.’s annual Transgender Day of Remembrance was held Monday night. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Tensely

    November 21, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    What a hot mess. Embarrassing, thank you Earline , Jeri , Dana and of course Dee

    • LesbianTippingHabits

      November 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm


      This is sad.

      People won’t bother to participate in such events in the future.

      Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.

      Be careful what you complain about; people might listen.

      Thank you.

  2. Tensely

    November 21, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    So this Ashely Love thinks it’s OK to GRAB a microphone out of a pastors hands, in their own church?

    • Sara

      November 24, 2017 at 2:21 am

      Anytime you can stop someone who believes in a talking snake from talking is a good thing.

  3. Cole Carter

    November 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    A real classless act!

    • Tensely

      November 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      All the years of work Ms Budd and others have done…and now it turned into the Transgender Day of Embarrassment

  4. Kathy11

    November 21, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Ms. Budd worked for decades to reach a place where the Mayor, Police Chief and Council Members come to memorialize trans deaths and speak to the value of trans lives. She built institutions that enabled many trans people to live better lives and to even exist.

    Ms. Love used these deaths to self promote and has no achievements to point to that bettered the community.

    • Tensely

      November 21, 2017 at 2:22 pm

      Beautifully said.

  5. Lee Anne

    November 22, 2017 at 6:04 am

    Perhaps she should consider reaching out to the police department and offer to help the rank and file understand our issues. And no doubt about it there are many, both past and present, that need to be discussed. Entrenched prejudice, racism, bigotry and abuse of power to name a few. But without dialogue nothing will change. And dialogue has a much better chance of effecting change than angry confrontation does.

  6. Monica Miller

    November 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    Shameless self-promotion gimmick masquerading as social protest.

  7. HazumuOsaragi

    November 23, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    Ashley Love is a Piece of Work – they broke the mold before they made her.

  8. Cristan

    November 23, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    Love is a hot mess. She has a long history of flying into intoxicated rages at events she goes to. Ask the Intersex panel from the Philly Health Conference about her inebriated rages.

    She has problems and physically attacking an MC at a memorial won’t fix them.

  9. marina brown

    November 24, 2017 at 10:45 am

    I am VERY proud of Ashley Love for having the courage to stand down Peter Newsham. Newsham has a history of overseeing and enabling police abuses. He has no place in a position of authority and he has no place talking about the murders of trans people other than to beg forgiveness for the misdeeds of his police.

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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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