A black gay Maryland man dies after a brutal street attack near a gay bar in Washington DC. Detectives back away from their initial theory this was a "gay-bashing" but the victim's friends are not convinced.
Thirty-seven-year-old Tony Randolph Hunter and a friend were severely beaten on September 7 near Eighth and N Streets N.W. The two were headed to the BeBar, the popular gay club. A severe blow to the head left Hunter in a coma and lingering ten days in a vegetative state,. Hunter was pronounced dead on Wednesday afternoon. Report and video at Newschannel 8.
At first, investigators suspected gay bashing. A group of four young men attacked Hunter and his friend as they walked to a gay bar. But based on witness accounts and since the assailants robbed Hunter, police now call it a homicide.
Reportedly the victim's "wallet, keys and cell phone were taken" and detectives are now examining surveillance camera footage to identify the attackers.
The surviving victim tells FOX 5 no anti-gay slurs or epithets were shouted. "We had just gotten out of the car when four to five guys came up on us fast," he told FOX 5's Paul Wagner. "They didn't say anything—just started swinging. Some of the men attacked Tony and some came after me. I punched back and was able to get away. When I looked back down the block I saw Tony on the ground."
It's probably no coincidence that FOX 5 has more details on the crime but never once mentions the victim was gay, never says the word "gay", or, for that matter, suggests what type of hate crime police initially pursued. Nothing to see here, keep moving. The omissions reinforce conservative talking points that gay men and lesbians are not beaten and killed over their sexuality.
Random violence or hate crime? It may not make a difference. Tony Hunter’s tragic death is the just latest in a series of violent crimes that have victimized District-area gays and lesbians.