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Open Letter to Police Supt David Hillard And Mayor Richard M. Daley

An alarming trend is appearing here in Chicago--police officers failing to treat hate-motivated physical attacks on gays as serious crimes. Last summer when I was attacked by gay-bashers, the responding officer refused to note in his report that the attackers yelled "fag" and "faggot," and record the attack as a hate crime. A week later, when asked to file an amended report, the same officer refused. I had to fight the system in order to have a new report written by Officer Laurie Cooper, the then-liaison to the gay community. Left to their own devices, your police department would have considered this attack a simple misdemeanor.

Your department’s mishandling of hate crimes by officers should be the exception, not the rule. Unfortunately, in light of events over the past several weeks, it appears that it’s become the norm. After three bashings over three weeks last September, Commander Guerrero of the 23rd District made pledges to the gay community in a town hall meeting concerning retraining police and reinforcement of proper procedures towards hate victims when such crimes occur. Well...it's not working.

Not only did police initially refuse to treat three separate gay-bashings around this year’s Gay Pride Day as hate crimes, last week brought news of police indifference to yet another vicious anti-gay attack, this time on Ryan Idol and Steve DeKorne after a show at the Bailiwick Theater.

Police credibility amongst other minority communities already is at a low point. If you fail to force your officers to start treating anti-gay hate crimes with the seriousness they deserve, I’m afraid you can add another community to that list.

Xavier Yager

Gay Activist &

Member, Chicago Anti-Bashing Network (CABN)




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