Thugs beat a gay man unconscious while screaming homophobic slurs. Police are refusing to recognise the attack as a hate crime
Christian Council, a gay realtor who was beaten unconscious in a suspected homophobic attack, has filed a hate crime report with the FBI after the local police force refused to do so.
Council, 28, suffered a concussion, a fractured rib, two broken teeth and emotional trauma when he was attacked by a man and woman who parked their truck in front of his car.
Two individuals, Amery Dickerson and Bennett Stone, were arrested for misdemeanour assault and battery and have since been released while they await trial. The driver of the truck was not arrested and is unidentified in the police report.
Police don’t consider the attack to be homophobically motivated, and the fact that Dickerson and Stone shouted gay slurs wasn’t mentioned anywhere in the police report.
“I want to make this very clear,” Council told The Oklahoman. “They got out of their truck because they were mad that I honked at them. They beat me unconscious because I was gay.
“It was very clear to me that as soon as they saw that my friend and I were gay, or that they assumed we were gay. It was very clear to me that it went from they were mad that I had honked at them, to they were mad that two gay men had the audacity to honk at them, or inconvenience them in any way.”
He believes the attack was “absolutely a hate crime”, but that it wasn’t classed as such because sexuality isn’t a protected class under Oklahoma hate crime laws.
However, Oklahoma Police master sergeant Gary Knight suggested that the attack was a simple case of road rage, and that there is no reason to believe Council was targeted because of his sexuality.
“There is no hard evidence that suggests the attack was because of his sexual orientation,” he said.
“Right now it appears the conflict was because of a truck not moving out of the way of his vehicle. These people did not know each other. There’s no indication they jumped out of their vehicle because of his sexual orientation.”
While Christian Council accepts that the confrontation may not have started because of his sexuality, he believes it escalated after they realised he was gay and became violent due to his attackers’ anti-gay bias.
He also questions why one of his attackers wasn’t arrested or identified in the police report. He’s now seeking legal advice over the incident and has filed a hate crime report with the FBI to ensure justice is served.
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Reached for comment, Oklahoma City FBI spokeswoman Andrea Anderson said the agency won’t comment on the matter.
“In keeping with Department of Justice policy, the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations,” she told The Oklahoman.