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"Did y'all just leave the faggot bar?"—Hate Crime in Mobile, Alabama

Last Saturday there was a hate crime in Mobile, Alabama. Or, rather, there would have been if Alabama recognized crimes borne of hatred against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, or transgendered persons as hate crimes.

From a friend:

Last night (5/26/07) myself and 3 friends witnessed what can only be called a crime of hate against 2 of our other friends who had thankfully already made it into their vehicle. Their car was facing Conti Street in the parking lot at Conti and Joachim and as they were walking to their vehicle, they were approached by a man who asked, “did y’all just leave the faggot bar?” My friends didn’t react, but rather, got to their vehicle as quickly as possible. They got into the car and locked the doors as the man began kicking the car in the back and in the passenger side while screaming other obscenities and slurs. He was trying to break the glass in the windows. He ended up putting large dents in the back and on the passenger door before they were able to reverse from the parking spot and drive away.

Our friend was renting this vehicle so we didn’t recognize it but watched as the crime occurred. We hurried to our own car, not knowing what was going on, and pulled out of the parking lot when we got the call from our friends who informed us that they were the ones in the car being attacked by the man. We followed them to their home and made the decision to call the police.

The police officer from the 3rd precinct arrived and gathered the information he needed. We were all surprised when he began asking us why we left the parking lot and telling us that if it had been him getting his car kicked in, he’d “have gotten out and kicked some a–.” He said that the city wouldn’t spend time trying to find the man nor did he offer hope for future protection in the commonly used pay-to-park lot. Not only are we certain that our friends and we had done the right thing by leaving the lot, but we are certain that the damages could have been much worse had we stayed. We asked him to call to see about checking the cameras in the lot and when he did, he found out that the cameras in that lot haven’t worked in some time. The lot attendant had gone, and there is no type of security in the lot. I believe that if we pay the city or the owner of the parking lot to park in that or any parking lot, we should be assured that the city or owner of the parking lot will protect us accordingly.

I felt it necessary to send this email to my friends and others and I recommend that you spread the word about this to anyone you know who spends time downtown in Mobile. It could have been anyone and there is a need for awareness. This isn’t the first time something like this or something worse has happened in or near that same parking lot for similar reasons. Again, it could have been anyone; a female walking alone, a couple, or even a group. Our friends and we were lucky despite the damage to their rental car but it could have been much worse. I’ve been on Dauphin Street and seen many police officers in plain sight at any given time and I don’t understand why there aren’t more in other parts of downtown. If city regulations allow that an establishment may stay open, or private establishments are allowed to be open, it is my opinion that the city or those private establishments should also be aware of these issues and do something about it to protect their patrons or make us feel safer once we walk out their doors.

Alabama will give special protection to a house of worship, public monument, or even a US or Alabama flag, but not a human being who happens to be gay. In fact, on May 11 they voted not to add crimes against people based on sexual orientation to Alabama’s hate crimes law.

HRC | Alabama Hate Crimes Law

Partners Against Hate | List of Hate Crime Laws

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Written by Jeff

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 3:53 pm

Posted in Bigots, Crazy people, Crime, GLBT, Hate Crimes

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3 Responses

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  1. this is an update from a friend of the victims:

    I just got another email from Fred Richardson, Mayor Sam Jones, and Deputy Chief James Barber and the downtown cameras are fixed, the police patrol route down there has been changed in the area in question, and the responding officer is to be “re-trained” on how to better respond in these types of situations. That has to give us some faith in our local government and that they care, especially when you consider some of the violent crimes that happen almost daily here.

    shelly

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 10:13 pm

  2. That’s good to hear, Shelly.

    Jeff

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007 at 10:27 pm

  3. ANYTIME YOUR IN DOWNTOWN MOBILE YOU NEED TO BE VERY VERY AWARE OF EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING GOING ON AROUND YOU. THE SECURITY CAMERAS IN PLACE NO LONGER POSE A THREAT TO ANY WRONG DOERS BECAUSE THEY GO WHERE THE CAMERAS ARE NOT! THEY KNOW WHICH STREETS ARE UNDER SURVELLIENCE AND WHICH ARE NOT! EITHER STAY OFF THE STREETS IN DOWNTOWN MOBILE OR CARRY A BIG ASS GUN! YEAH! IT’S THAT BAD! YOU’VE GOTTA REMEMBER, EVERY SINCE HURRICANE KATRINA MOBILE HAS TAKEN ON ALOT OF “THUGS” WHO DON’T CARE ABOUT THE HUMAN RACE, THEIR PRETTY MUCH POND-SCUM AND ALL THEY KNOW IS VIOLENCE AND CRIME. ONE SUGGESTION OS TO MAKE FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE WHO YOU WOULD CONSIDER “BILLY BAD-ASS” IF SOME SMUCK APPROACHES YOU HAVE BILLY-BAD ASS KICK HIS PUNK ASS! NUFF SAID

    jAY

    Friday, August 17, 2007 at 5:34 pm


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