Gay Issues

Was Gay Man Victim of Hate Crime? Spokane Cops Say No

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A gay Spokane man, who got into a fight over the weekend, said he was the victim of a hate crime, but police claim it was nothing more than a drunken brawl.

Police said when they responded to the incident in a parking lot Friday night, Danny Hawkins never told them he was beaten up because he was gay.

However, during a news conference the following day, Hawkins was telling a far different story.

"When I said that I wanted to report it as a hate crime, (the officer) shrugged it off and said, 'You started it,'" said a bruised Hawkins, according to KXLY-TV.

He insists he was attacked because he is gay. "There were words said that were very derogatory and aimed at hurting me personally."

Spokane police say they take allegations of hate crimes seriously, but in this case there just wasn't one.

"Unless that information is given to the patrol officer who responds at the time then there's no way for us to be able to investigate it as a hate crime," Spokane Police spokesperson Officer Jennifer DeRuwe said. "The initial altercation in the parking lot started over the car and somebody hitting the car and then punches being thrown, later somebody's sexual orientation comes to light, but that wasn't the motivating factor."