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Openly gay Baltimore man says Christmas attack was a hate crime

Friday, December 28, 2012

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 he is gay.

Kenni Shaw, 30, told The Baltimore Sun that for him, the motive was clear — he said that that his dyed blond hair and his job as a cosmetologist and hairstylist, puts him at odds with the “ghetto-tough mentality” of other men in his neighborhood.

Kenni Shaw posted these photos to Instagram of himself before (right) and after the attack.

Shaw said he’s heard comments muttered by locals he doesn’t know, but recognizes, that they do not want “faggots living on the block.”

According to the Sun:

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. He was transported to a nearby hospital and was treated for facial and head wounds. He is now recovering at his mother’s residence in neighboring Baltimore County.

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.”

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14 more reader comments:

  1. This violence must stop!

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:41pm
  2. At least its in a gay friendly state so there is hope justice will be effectively served.

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:46pm
  3. … ARRESTS?!?

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:46pm
  4. absolutely disgusting. I hope this poor guy has a speedy recovery… :(

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:48pm
  5. WTF

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:51pm
  6. I was born and raised in baltimore and moved to ca 2 yrs ago, this is not surprising. the hood mentality there is super thick. gay men r always targeted and the churches r no help either. im hoping justice will be served but I doubt it. the cops r hood also. may karma strict all the guys involved!

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:54pm
  7. Merry f$&@?! Christmas???? May he get justice.

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 6:58pm
  8. Filthy Baltimore trash.

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 7:01pm
  9. This man is COURAGEOUS! God bless and protect him. Never been to Baltimore, not sure I wanna ever go, but neanderthal mentality is what it is. Word of caution, “mandatory college” applicants: beating up on someone because they have the balls to be proud of who they are JUST might be indicative of the true person YOU’RE trying to hide from the world. Don’t delay the inevitable, my pants-around-the-ass wearing friends! Come on out the closet!

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 7:01pm
  10. Omg :( kenni please stay strong and know that karma is a bitch. You are a beautiful human being and I wish you a speedy recovery

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 7:04pm
  11. poor man

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 7:04pm
  12. Shame this has to happen but this country has a very long way to go.

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 7:11pm
  13. My heart goes out to this man.

    Posted on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 7:49pm
  14. can’t read entire post from phone. but hope he recovers quickly they will get what they deserve In time because what goes around comes around. i wish you well hope you get well soon.

    Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 2:38am