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Assault on 39th Street

I'd like to spread the word to everyone about a hate crime that happened early Thursday morning, 7/14, on 39th Street in Kansas City. This is posted on KCindymedia because mobilizing the community -- or at least making everyone aware -- may be the only thing that could prevent this from happening again.
The terrible part of this story is that the women were harassed and beaten simply for holding hands in public. And the worst part of it is how the two Kansas City police officers who responded to their call for help decided to handle the situation.

The lesbian couple was attacked last night while walking home from Fric & Frac around 1 a.m. As they were leaving the restaurant holding hands, a car drove by and a woman began yelling anti-gay slurs.

The women ignored the shouting, but the car came back around toward the couple, and the passenger, a woman, jumped out with a large wooden club. A man, the driver, remained inside the car. The female attacker began beating the smaller of the two women while shouting anti-gay slurs, violently shoving the other lesbian to the ground.

The attacker fled only because flashing lights from a passing tow truck scared her off, leaving one of the women with a concussion and several serious cuts and bruises. Both women consider themselves fortunate not to have been beaten more seriously or even killed.

The women immediately called the police and the responding officers arrived shortly thereafter. The manner in which the women were treated by the police was unprofessional. One officer snapped at one of the victims, saying he "didn't have to come here tonight." The officers treated it as though it were not a hate crime by taking only the name of the woman who had been beaten, disregarding the input of the other. The woman who was beaten was asked why she couldn't remember many details and if she even wanted to bother filing a police report. The fact that these women had just suffered a terrible emotional trauma and were physically injured didn't seem to make much impact upon these officers.

This attack could well have happened to anyone, which is a terrifying thought. And to know these police officers regarded the incident as little more than a random assault instead of a hate crime should deeply concern us all.

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Re: Assault on 39th Street

In response to this event the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project sent out an email with the following info on ways you can help:

What can you do?

1. Send a message to Kansas City, Missouri Chief of Police chief James Corwin at chiefsoffice (at) kcpd.org that this type of response to an LGBT hate crime is unacceptable by telling him to:

Discipline the two officers for their discriminatory and disrespectful behavior;
Have the responding officers formally apologize to the victims for their behavior;
Tell the community what his agency is doing to solve the crime.

2. Help put up flyers in the neighborhood where the attack took place. Meet Tuesday, July 19 at 7 pm in the parking lot of Café Rumi next to Boomerang on the corner of 39th and Wyoming. KCAVP staff and board members will be there.

3. Spread the word about hate crimes to your friends, co-workers, family and others you care about and report hate crimes to KCAVP. The more information we have, the more we can document what is going on and prevent more crimes from happening. Visit www.kcavp.org/biasCrimes.htm for more information about hate (bias) crimes.

If you have any questions or comments, contact the KCAVP at 816-561-0550.

Re: Assault on 39th Street-

Channel 9 TV news last night (Thurs 7-21-05)
did a short piece on this -
...as a result of KCAVP emails?

Re: Assault on 39th Street

I am going to send letters to the mayor's office and police department and request a reprimand of the officers for their response to this incident and additional training for the entire department. I encourage others to join me. Kansas City is home to people of different ethnicities, political and spiritual beliefs, economic status, education, and sexual orientation. All are citizens and all deserve the same police protection and respect.

Re: Assault on 39th Street

I find this news to be disturbing. I find the police behavior to be horrifying. But it speaks volumes on the state of heterosexism within America. The two women were attacked becuase they were not straight and the police refused to fully protect and serve most likely because they are not straight.

Re: Assault on 39th Street

Agreed, heterosexism and patriarchy need to be dismantled and that begines with us in our own lives and spreads one person at a time through education and example.

Re: Assault on 39th Street

Radical queers and we in solidarity need to organize and confront this also. Sometimes education isn't enough and self defense is a legitimate tactic.

Re: Assault on 39th Street

Copied from an email from the KCAVP:

The LGBT community should not tolerate hate crimes or violence of any sort. What can be done?

You, along with other community members, must come together against violence and help the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project and other LGBT organizations determine a community response so that all LGBT victims of violence are treated with respect and dignity by law enforcement.

Please join the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project for an LGBT town hall meeting. If you're angry, concerned, sad, frustrated, or just want action, plan to attend.

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2005

When: 7:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Where: On the University of Missouri Kansas City campus in Royall Hall, Room 104. Royall Hall is located on the north side of 52nd Street where Charlotte Street would intersect.

Parking is available in the metered parking lot at the corner of 53rd Street and Charlotte Street.

Visit www.kcavp.org for more information about the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project.

Re: Assault on 39th Street

this is unacceptable. More needs to be done to protect people who are vulnerable. If this people are still subject to harrassment, I am willing to help by forming a group of stewards to help.

Re: Assault on 39th Street

Shit happens.

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