In response to a brutal hate crime last week, a group of politicians, community leaders and LGBT rights activists gathered Thursday afternoon on the corner of Utica Ave and Carroll St in Brooklyn. New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton, Public Advocate Letitia James and Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams were in attendance to speak against hate crimes targeting LGBT people and announce a new LGBT Advisory Committee to bring community issues to Albany.
As the Daily News reported, last week on the same street corner a man was attacked and left with cuts and bruises on his face and head. Safire Ellington, 18, is facing charges for assault as a hate crime for allegedly smashing the man’s face with a rock while spitting on him and yelling slurs. Leroy Bacchus, 33, who participated in the attack, is charged with criminal mischief as a hate crime.
“We are gathering at the place of the incident to say: Not in our neighborhood. Not in our city. Not in our state. We refuse to let the hateful acts of those attackers prevail,” said Senator Hamilton.
Other speakers noted that even after the Supreme Court’s decision in favor of marriage equality, more progress is still needed.
“If we cannot create communities that are safe for us to live our truth fully and loudly, then we are not progressing,” said New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
A spokesman for Senator Hamilton said the details of the advisory committee are still being worked out, but that the vision is to partner with City Council, local organizations and residents.