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Salt Lake City Gay Bashings “Not Related”

Jim Burroway

September 6th, 2011

More than a week after Dane Hall was brutally beaten outside a Salt Lake City night club, police finally decided to get around to interviewing him. Attackers stomped on the back of his head, broke his jaw, and knocked out several teeth. The local gay community is rallying around Hall and are trying to raise money to pay his medical bills. Hall has no health insurance and his bills are mounting. That same night, another man, whose identity has been withheld, was also severely beaten. The Salt Lake City Tribune (no link) reports that police, who are refusing to regard the attacks as hate crimes, say that the two assaults appear unrelated. I don’t know which of the two statements in that last sentence I find more disturbing: the idea that it’s not a hate crime, or the idea that more than one roving band of anti-gay attackers were on the loose in Salt Lake City on the same evening.

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Scott Rose
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

Utah Hate Crimes Law
Gender identity protected? No
Utah’s hate crimes law does not explicitly address gender identity. Utah law ties penalties for hate crimes to violations of a victim’s civil or constitutional rights. Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-203.3 (2002).

Sexual orientation protected? No
Utah’s hate crimes law does not explicitly address sexual orientation. Utah law ties penalties for hate crimes to violations of a victim’s civil or constitutional rights. Utah Code Ann. § 76-3-203.3 (2002).

Jim Burroway
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

With the passage of the Matthew Shephard Hate Crimes Act, hate crimes are now federal law.

mike
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

I would love to know from a legal standpoint what is the next step to getting the federal government involved because it’s obvious even to my 10yo nephew that these are related and that they are hate crimes. So what do we do if ever we were attacked in a state that doesn’t support human rights? Who do we contact at the FBI to get an investigation started so that they can see the negligence of the local police dept and to make sure it’s regarded as a hate crime when the prosecution office of the FBI takes hold? I think that would be an awesome blog posting. We need to have this information as a community.

Luke
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

This sounds like exactly the sort of situation the Matthew Shepard Act was designed to deal with.

TampaZeke
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

This is EXACTLY what the federal hate crimes law was intended to address. It’s time for the Federal law to step in. Trying to get Utah to consider anti-gay hate crimes is like expecting Mississippi to properly investigate the killing of a black man by a white robed mob in 1960.

cowboy
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

Two things:
1) The media (particularly the Salt Lake Tribune) didn’t report this crime for nearly a week after it happened. They blame the SLPD for some changes to our GRAMA rules.

2) This is the same police department that took DJ Bell to jail before taking him to a hospital. He and his partner were severely beaten because of a misunderstanding with their neighbors. And the SLPD and the county attorney has been doing nothing to alleviate the bad relations with the gay community.

I don’t trust walking in that part of the city but I certainly do not trust my Police Department either.

customartist
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

Nothing will happen so long as investigations are left to local-yocal-Mormon-controlled authorities.

Let’s help the poor guy out and call the FBI in to look at this.

THIS is what you can do.

http://www.fbi.gov/saltlakecity/contact

Scott L.
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

Cowboy, what part of Salt Lake did this happen in?

cowboy
September 6th, 2011 | LINK

Scott, it’s 600 West and 200 South. I know it has the new intra-modal (commuter rail/Trax lite-rail and bus) transportation hub there close by but it’s still a rather dicey part of town.

You can remember West 2nd South? That’s where a UTA bus driver pulled over and asked one of the Police Decoys if she had “group rates”. And, yes…he was arrested.

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