More developments following the horrific videotaped beating of a young Atlanta man. The video has gone viral, the victim has been identified, police now have surveillance video of the beating and federal agents are investigating if the case could be prosecuted as a hate crime.
The victim was viciously beaten by three men while another man laughed repeatedly, "No faggots in Jack City." The young man can be seen being kicked, punched, hit with a tire—even his cell phone is used to punch him in the face.
The video is very graphic. Watch WSB's report and the video AFTER THE JUMP ...
The assault apparently happened on Saturday. The victim's family said that he has been "too afraid" to file a police report but authorities finally took a statement today, reports WSB and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Atlanta Police Department spokesman Carlos Campos said that the widespread dissemination of the video led the victim's family members to contact police. "Atlanta police investigators were able to locate the victim, identified as Brandon White, 20, of Atlanta, who gave a statement to investigators," Campos said in statement emailed to the news media Tuesday night.
"We’re looking into the possibility of it being a federal hate crime," FBI spokesman Stephen Emmett told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday.
The federal intervention is needed because Georgia is only one of five states without a hate crimes law. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta will make the final decision on whether to pursue the case as a federal hate crime. U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates released this statement:
"Combating violent gang activity in our District, including the Pittsburgh community, is a priority of this office, as are any potential civil rights violations based on a person's sexual orientation. Along with the Atlanta Police Department, we are working to determine if the actions portrayed in the video violate federal law, including the hate crime statute. The actions depicted in the video are appalling and unacceptable in our community, and we encourage anyone with information about this video to contact the FBI or Atlanta Police."
"On Tuesday, FBI agents picked up a copy of the surveillance video that caught the beating. Atlanta police and FBI were at the scene taking pictures and collecting evidence," adds CBS Atlanta.
Black LGBT activists in Atlanta admit that it is "not unusual for gay African-American men who are attacked to remain silent." But the vicious beating has spurred a number of people into action. A Black LGBT community meeting to organize after the attacks was scheduled tonight at the Phillip Rush Center. More details as they develop.
Watch WSB's report and the video AFTER THE JUMP ...