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YEAR IN REVIEW: Top 10 local stories of the year

Pride protest, Gay Games disappointment and Danica wins

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Democrats, gay news, Washington Blade

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A year that started on a down note for most with the inauguration of President Trump ended with a stunning political upset in Virginia that lifted the spirits of LGBT advocates nationwide. Here, a look back at the biggest local stories of 2017.

10. Madaleno running for Md. governor

LGBT local news stories, gay news, Washington Blade

Sen. Rich Madaleno announced in July his bid for governor. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County), who became the first openly gay member of the Maryland General Assembly in 2002, announced his candidacy for governor in July.

Madaleno, 52, is among the lawmakers and advocates who played a lead role in to secure passage of Maryland’s same-sex marriage bill in 2012 under then-Gov. Martin O’Malley. In addition to his outspoken support for LGBT rights Madaleno is known in Annapolis among political insiders as a highly knowledgeable lawmaker on a wide range of other issues, including financial matters.

Others competing with Madaleno for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination next year are Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, former NAACP President Ben Jealous, and former State Department official Alec Ross. If he were to win the nomination he would be running against incumbent Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.

“I will never back down on civil rights, on LGBTQ rights, on workers’ rights, on women’s rights, on voting rights,” Madaleno said in his announcement speech. “Our rights cannot and will not be sacrificed with Rich Madaleno as governor,” he said.

9. Anti-LGBT groups challenge trans policy in Frederick

A 17-year-old transgender student in Frederick County, Md., filed a motion in federal court on Oct. 20 to defend the county school board against a lawsuit seeking to overturn the board’s sweeping policy of protecting trans students from discrimination and harassment at school.

James van Kuilenburg, an honor student at Governor Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, filed his motion to intervene in the case as a defendant with the aim of presenting a separate legal argument for why the lawsuit lacks merit and should be dismissed by the U.S. District Court of Maryland, according to a team of attorneys representing him.

The Frederick School Board adopted its transgender nondiscrimination policy in June with widespread support from the community, according to LGBT activists.

With legal representation from an attorney known to be aligned with anti-LGBT groups, a cisgender female student and her mother anonymously filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the policy on grounds that it violates students’ privacy rights.

8. Forced resignation of pro-LGBT Del. teacher prompts community response  

Cape Henlopen High School, gay news, Washington Blade

Cape Henlopen High School (Washington Blade photo by Lou Chibbaro, Jr.)

The forced resignation of a popular LGBT supportive teacher and theater director at Cape Henlopen High School in Lewes, Del., prompted community meetings and the creation of a school district sponsored committee to look into reports of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment.

Several students and parents who know now former teacher Martha Pfeiffer said they believe school district officials forced her to resign because of her outspoken support for LGBT students in her role as faculty adviser for Cape Henlopen High’s Gay-Straight Alliance club.

 Reports of bullying and complaints by LGBT students that school officials were ignoring their appeals for help surfaced at a June 19 community forum in Rehoboth Beach organized by the LGBT community center CAMP Rehoboth.

 Schools Superintendent Robert Fulton told the Blade he created the Cape Henlopen LGBTQ Outreach Committee following media reports of concerns expressed by students at Cape Henlopen High that school officials were not adequately addressing longstanding concerns of anti-LGBT bullying at the school.

7. Va. man found not guilty in killing of lesbian chef

Tyonne Johns, gay news, Washington Blade

Tyonne Johns was stabbed to death; her accused killer was found not guilty.(Image courtesy Vimeo)

A Fairfax Circuit Court jury on Oct. 4 found a former county parks employee not guilty in the August 2016 stabbing death of lesbian chef and caterer Tyonne Johns during an altercation at a wedding reception in a park that Johns catered.

The verdict shocked friends and co-workers of Johns, who disputed claims by defendant Kempton A. Bonds, 20, who testified that he stabbed Johns in self-defense after she attempted to strangle him in an altercation that started over a dispute about who owned folding chairs used at the reception.

Bonds had been charged by Fairfax County, Va., police with second-degree murder at the time of the incident. The not-guilty verdict came three months after a mistrial was declared in July at the conclusion of an earlier trial when the jury became deadlocked and could not reach a verdict for Bonds.

6. Jim Graham dies at 71

D.C. Police and Fire Department honor guard carried former Council member Jim Graham’s coffin into the John A. Wilson Building on June 23, 2017. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Jim Graham, a gay attorney who won election to four terms on the D.C. City Council after serving for 15 years as executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic during the height of the AIDS epidemic, died June 11 from complications associated with an intestinal infection. He was 71.

During a ceremony in which Graham’s coffin lay in state in the John A. Wilson Building, which serves as D.C.’s City Hall, Mayor Muriel Bowser, City Council Chair Phil Mendelson, and others who knew and worked for him spoke of what they called Graham’s dedication and outspoken advocacy for city residents who often were overlooked and in need of city services.

In a gesture considered appropriate by those who knew Graham and his trademark fashion statement of always wearing a bowtie when dressed for work, his former Council staff members arranged for a rainbow flag shaped into a giant bowtie to be draped over the coffin.

“As we were thinking about all of the cultures that Jim touched, of course the primary one was the gay community because that’s where he came from,” said Calvin Woodland Jr., who served as chief of staff for Graham’s Council office.

5. Report shows hate crimes rose 59 percent

The number of anti-LGBT hate crimes in the District of Columbia increased in 2016 by 59 percent, from 37 cases reported in 2015 to 59 cases reported in 2016, according to the city’s annual bias-crime report released in March.

The report showed that hate crimes targeting people based on their “gender identity/expression” and “sexual orientation” came in third and fourth place in the percentage increase among the categories of hate crimes, behind “ethnicity/national origin” and “religion” related hate crimes. But the report said anti-trans and anti-LGB hate crimes continued their multi-year trend of comprising the largest number of hate crime cases.

The number of reported anti-trans hate crimes increased by 90 percent, from 10 in 2015 to 19 in 2016. The number of anti-LGB hate crimes rose by 48 percent, from 27 in 2015 to 40 in 2016, the report shows.

At a news conference at which the report was released, Mayor Muriel Bowser and then acting Police Chief Peter Newsham reiterated the city’s commitment to combat hate crimes targeting all population groups.

4. Trump appoints LGBT-supportive U.S. Attorney for D.C.

Jessie K. Liu, who President Trump appointed as U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, told a community meeting in October that she is committed to aggressively prosecuting all forms of hate crimes, including those targeting LGBT people.

Her office organized the meeting in partnership with D.C. government officials and members of community groups, including the D.C. LGBT Center’s Anti-Violence Project.

“I want to thank our community and government partners, the D.C. Anti-Violence Project…and the Mayor’s Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Affairs, who helped our office plan this event tonight,” she said.

“As a woman of color myself I feel very emotionally strongly that we can’t tolerate anyone in our community being targeted because of race or religion or sexual orientation or gender or gender identity or any of the protected classes,” she said in referring to groups protected under the D.C. hate crimes law.

3. D.C. loses bid to host 2022 Gay Games

Gay Games, Muriel Bowser, gay news, Washington Blade

A crowd of supporters joined Mayor Muriel Bowser at a rally in support of D.C.’s Gay Games bid earlier this year. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Federation of Gay Games in October announced it had selected Hong Kong over D.C. and Guadalajara, Mexico, to host the 2022 Gay Games, the quadrennial international LGBT sports event that is expected to attract as many as 15,000 athletes and thousands more spectators to the host city.

The announcement came days after Mayor Muriel Bowser headed a 32-member D.C. delegation that traveled to Paris to make the city’s final presentation on why it should be selected as the host city for the Games. Earlier in the year the FGG selected D.C., Hong Kong, and Guadalajara as the three finalists among more than a dozen cities that submitted bids for becoming the host city.

Some speculated that the FGG’s selection committee, which included Europeans, may have passed over D.C. because of hostility toward President Trump. FGG officials insisted the selection was based strictly on its findings following detailed site visits of which city could best host the Games and advance the FGG’s objectives of advancing LGBT equality in sports and society.

2. Protesters disrupt Capital Pride Parade

D.C. Pride protest, gay news, Washington Blade

No Justice No Pride protesters block the Pride parade in June. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Ten protesters from the local group No Justice No Pride stood in the street and locked arms to block the path of D.C.’s Capital Pride Parade on June 10 on P Street, N.W., to voice what the group said was its objections to participation by D.C. police and certain corporate sponsors in the annual Pride events.

D.C. police, including Police Chief Peter Newsham, were present on the street when the disruption occurred. As angry parade participants shouted at the protesters to leave the street police rerouted the parade. Capital Pride organizers said the disruption delayed the completion of the parade by about 90 minutes.

No Justice No Pride members said the decision to block the parade came after Capital Pride leaders, following a community meeting in which No Justice No Pride voiced its concerns, declined to agree to the dissident group’s demands that police, including the department’s LGBT Liaison Unit, be banned from the parade. Protesters also wanted Capital Pride to drop its ties to several corporate sponsors of the parade and Pride festival set to take place the following day on grounds that the corporations had policies harmful to Native Americans and people of color despite their support for LGBT rights.

Capital Pride leaders promised to reassess their corporate sponsorship policies but said it was too late in the organizing to make any changes for the 2017 events. The protest triggered heated debate and disagreements among some in the LGBT community about how Capital Pride should operate each year.

1. Danica Roem unseats Bob Marshall in Va. House race 

Danica Roem stunned homophobe Bob Marshall in November. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Transgender rights advocate and former journalist Danica Roem made history on Nov. 7 when she won election to a seat in the Virginia House of delegates, becoming the first transgender person in the country set to be seated in a state legislature.

 Roem, a Democrat, drew both nationwide and international attention, in part, by defeating Bob Marshall, a Republican who held the seat in the House of Delegate’s 13th District in Northern Virginia’s outer suburbs of Washington, D.C. since 1992 and who was known as the state legislature’s most outspoken opponent of LGBT rights.

 Political observers said Roem ran a highly effective and strategic campaign that stressed local infrastructure issues. Her well researched proposals for alleviating traffic congestion and traffic backups along a route in her district that impacted large numbers of residents as they commuted to and from work every day resonated with voters, observers said.

 Despite Marshall and his supporters’ attempts to portray Roem as a militant activist promoting a transgender “agenda” over the needs of the district, Roem beat Marshall by a 54-45 percent margin.

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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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