John M. Becker

Three Attackers Will Be Charged in Philly Gay-Bashing

Filed By John M. Becker | September 23, 2014 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: anti-gay attack, Brian Sims, coming out, hate crime, Jim Ferlo, Kathryn Knott, Kevin Harrigan, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Philip Williams

philly-gay-bashing-surveillance.jpgThree people will be charged in a vicious, hate-motivated attack on a gay couple in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office announced this afternoon. WPVI-TV reports:

The accused are Philip Williams, 24, Kevin Harrigan, 26, and Kathryn Knott, 24, all of Bucks County, according to the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.

Arrest warrants have been approved for the three suspects. Each will be charged with aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and criminal conspiracy...

The incident unfolded at 10:45 p.m. on Thursday, September 11th. Investigators say the victims, a 28-year-old man and a 27-year-old man, were in the 1600 block of Chancellor Street when police say they were approached by a group of 'unknown males and females.'

The group of 10-12 people approached and, according to police, 'made disparaging remarks about their sexual orientation.' That led to an attack, police say, with some of the suspects holding the victims while others punched them.

"This vicious attack shocked the entire country. An assault on people because of their sexual orientation has no place in Philadelphia," DA Seth Williams said in a statement.

I wonder if only three attackers out of the 10-12 who participated are being charged because the others agreed to testify against them in order to save themselves?

While the assault was clearly a hate crime, police cannot add hate crimes charges to the list that Williams, Harrigan, and Knott will have to answer to in court because Pennsylvania's hate-crimes law does not protect LGBT people. Advocates and lawmakers rallied for hate crimes legislation at the state capitol in Harrisburg today. Openly gay Democratic State Rep. Brian Sims blasted his colleagues' failure to pass basic protections for LGBT Pennsylvanians, and Democratic State Sen. Jim Ferlo came out of the closet as a gay man.

Watch, after the break.

Rep. Sims

Sen. Ferlo

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