Flaming Projectiles Aimed At Gay Patronised Nightclub
|Club Jam ~ Salt Lake City Utah|
Jasen Asay, a spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, said that about 12:35 a.m. Thursday, unknown suspects launched multiple flaming projectiles at Club JAM which set a fence on fire. While some of the club's patrons extinguished the fence fire with water-filled pitchers, others gave chase to the suspects who fled in a dark red or maroon late model Pontiac Grand Am sedan.
Asay said that arson investigators weren't sure what was shot or thrown at the club owing to the fact that all of the items had completely burned. He added that investigators also aren’t sure if the culprits were patrons at the club or launched the items from the street and no motive was established. There were no injuries reported.
A spokesperson for the Salt Lake City police declined to comment citing that the incident was under investigation.
Local LGBTQ blogger Brandon Burt sardonically writes on "Salt Lake City Blogs:"
JAM management is generously characterizing the event as a juvenile prank rather than an actual terrorist attack -- which means it's perfectly safe for bar patrons to go back and have a good time at this very nice club. At the same time, once these flare-tossing muttonheads are brought to justice, it could end up being a decent motivation for updating Utah's anemic hate-crime statute that, so far, fails to include sexual orientation as a protected class.
As it turns out, the dumbass attackers had such poor aim, they not only failed in their attempt to cause serious burns and injuries among the gay men occupying the patio, but even failed to disrupt the evening's karaoke event -- which, with characteristic sang-froid, JAM patrons soon resumed.
Female Teenager Ordered Tried In Adult Court For Hate Crime In Missouri
|Mercedes M. Ayers|
Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle filed a class B felony charge of first-degree burglary for entering the victim's home with the intent of assaulting her. However, the second charge of third-degree assault, which is normally a misdemeanor, carrying potential penalties of one day to one year in the county jail and up to $1,000 in fines, was upgraded because Swingle believes the assault was a hate crime due to the victim's sexual orientation. That charge became a class D felony, which carries the more stringent penalty of one to four years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
Swingle said he intends to prove the hate crime requirement that the suspect was "knowingly motivated" by Terry's sexual orientation.
"In Cape Girardeau County, thankfully, hate crimes are rare," Swingle said. "We have maybe one a year at the most. In proving the motive, we have to prove it just like any other fact -- have testimony and evidence to prove the motive, either by eyewitnesses or confession. So that's our allegation, and we intend to prove it."
The victim, Jeana Terry nor her partner testified Tuesday, although both had been subpoenaed.
Ayers lawyer, Jeff Dix, did not object to the motion to transfer the case to the adult court.
According to the charging documents, the victim told law enforcement officials that Ayers pulled her from the home and along with Ayers' two younger siblings and some of their friends beat and stomped the victim while yelling anti-gay slurs.
A probable-cause statement prepared by the prosecutor's office, said that police responded July 24 to a call to a fight in progress. The reports said that several subjects were assaulting one woman, who was on the ground. When police arrived, the report says, Ayers fled as a witness pointed and yelled out: "That's her! Right there!" The officer caught Ayers and placed her in custody.
Terry and her partner, Lisa Lange, told investigators that Ayers came to the door uninvited that night. Terry opened the door, the report says, and Ayers grabbed her by the arm and pulled her onto the porch and attacked her. Terry attempted to escape and yelled to Lange to call 911. Ayers pursued, punching Terry as several other juveniles -- including two of Ayers' younger siblings -- joined in.
Terry never hit back, the report says, instead attempting from the ground to block the repeated blows and stomps to her head and body. Ayers yelled racial slurs at Terry during the beating and made comments about Terry's sexual orientation.
Lange told law enforcement that Ayers had been yelling derogatory names at them for some time, calling them "dykes" and "yags," which is the plural of "gay" spelled backward. Shortly before the assault, the report says, Ayers yelled at Lange sitting near a window that she was going to get her brother and come back and beat her. Minutes later, she and her 11-year-old brother returned and attacked Terry. Her 13-year-old sister and some of their friends joined in later, according to Terry. ~ The Southeastern Missourian
Ayers was ordered held on a $10,000 bond
Second Transgender Person Found Murdered In Chicago's West Side K-Town
Photo supplied by Chicago PD
Gooden – a transgender woman known as Tiffany- was found just three blocks away from where Paige Clay, 23, another transgender woman, was found shot to death in April.
CBS 2 Chicago reports that June LaTrobe, public policy director of the transgender activist group Illinois Gender Advocates, said that transgender women of color “are the most vulnerable members of our community.”
LaTrobe said there are very little opportunities for such women, because, “sometimes the obstacles are just unbelievable. Here is someone murdered for simply being themselves. It gets … frustrating doesn’t even quite put it."
Rick Garcia, a longtime local LGBT activist said, “oftentimes when folks like this are murdered or brutalized, it’s, ‘Well, you know, they brought it on themselves,’ or ‘What do you expect?’” Garcia said he was working with police to make sure these two victims, and others like them, aren't re-victimised by not being priority cases.
Chicago Police said they believe that the cases of both women are unrelated and have visited some nearby businesses in hopes surveillance cameras might have captured relevant images.