|Courtesy of Kenni Shaw|
Openly Gay Baltimore Man Beaten- Tells Police It Was Hate Crime
By Brody Levesque | BALTIMORE, MD -- An openly gay East Baltimore resident who was severely beaten Christmas night told police investigators that he believed that he was attacked because of his sexuality.
30-year-old Kenni Shaw told The Baltimore Sun newspaper that for him, the motive was clear. Shaw admitted that his dyed blond hair and his job as a cosmetologist/ hairstylist, puts him at odds with the ghetto-tough mentality of other men in his neighborhood. He also said that he's heard comments muttered by some of the locals he doesn't know but recognises, about them not wanting "faggots living on the block."
Detective Jeremy Silbert, spokesperson for the Baltimore City Police Major Crimes Unit, said that investigators were investigating the assault and have "some good leads in the case but have not determined a motive."
After a Christmas Eve celebration with family, Shaw had returned home nursing a cold. He'd popped into the liquor store about 9:00 pm just as five men were heading out, but didn't pay them much attention. He chatted briefly with the clerk before leaving the store and heading home.
Outside, not far from the store, he was suddenly punched from behind, he said. For minutes on end, the punches kept falling, he said. One man had clearly initiated the attack, but the others joined in, he said. Shaw said he remained conscious, and could feel each blow. Finally, someone else came out of the store and his attackers left.
"It was so hard that I felt my lip and side face swell up immediately. I was trying to talk to these guys, but they weren't letting me talk." Instead, they were intent on beating him - out of hate - said Shaw, a 30-year-old gay man. "I was just beaten in my face. Nothing was taken. No words were exchanged before the incident," he said. "So to me, I think it was a hate crime."
Shaw told police that he went home a few blocks away, called his mother, and although he had not dialed 911 for emergency services, police were at his door within minutes.
Shaw told the paper that he thought witnesses had called police. He was transported to hospital where doctors treated him for his facial and head wounds telling him he didn't have any apparent fractures. He is now recovering at his mother's residence in neighboring Baltimore County.
Police spokesperson Silbert said that if suspects are identified and arrested in Shaw's beating, police will consult directly with the Maryland state's attorney's office to determine the appropriate charges.