Kenny Coppedge sustained injuries to his face during the unprovoked attack. (Screenshot from local news station WJZY)
A gay couple in North Carolina say they were assaulted by a group of men who claimed to be police offers on October 20.
Kenny Coppedge and his boyfriend Jordan Frye were beaten in a vicious and unprovoked attack in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Coppedge told local news that they were walking along Yancey Road in South End when a group walked up behind them.
“A woman came up to me and put her arm around me and was just talking to me like we were fine,” Coppedge said.
Moments later, he said, a group of men who were with the woman accused Coppedge and Frye of stealing from her purse.
Coppedge said that the men seemed to be drunk.
“They accused me of stealing from her, put my arm around my back and threw me to the ground and started searching me and telling me he was a cop,” Coppedge said. “They just kept telling me that they were cops. They were cops and they were going to keep me there until they proved I didn’t steal anything.”
When police officers from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) arrived at the scene of the incident, Coppedge said they spoke briefly to the group of men who had attacked him and his boyfriend before letting them go.
“I was told they talked to them and they let them go,” Coppedge said.
He believes that the men who attacked him were off-duty police officers.
“The way they were maneuvering us and the way that they pinned us down, it was like they were trained to do that,” Coppedge said. “I want them to be charged.”
Coppedge sustained a bruised neck and chest, as well as a cut in his eyelid.
Local news reports that the CMPD did not respond to multiple requests for comments, and that a police report states the gay couple were assaulted by “an unknown suspect”.
Hate crimes in the US have risen to a 10-year high, it was reported earlier this summer.