7 months later: hate crime at Amazon shipping facility goes unpunished

Amazon's shipping facility in Chesterfield, Virginia

Amazon's shipping facility in Chesterfield, Virginia BRAD KUTNER [e]Gay RVA[m]

It’s been seven months since a man was brutally beaten for being gay at the Chesterfield Amazon Fulfillment center and there’s been no charges lodged and no day in court for the victim.

John Doe (the victim’s name is being held for his safety) was working an Amazon packaging shift back in May of this year when out of nowhere he was allegedly hit in the head repeatedly by a fellow employee.

While being treated for his injuries, Doe said the head of the facility’s security department approached him and said the alleged assailant told them he attacked Doe because he was gay.

“It all happened so fast — I didn’t really know what was going on,” the victim told GayRVA shortly after the attack, adding that he thought something had fallen on him.

But when he “turned around and looked at the man and he was just mad. He turned around and walked back to work like nothing happened.”

Chesterfield police responded to the call made by Amazon, and arrested the assailant. (GayRVA is not naming him either, again for the victim’s safety.)

After the incident, Doe was contacted by Chesterfield Police’s LGBT Point of Contact, Corporal Elliot Anderson.

Amazon had video of the attack, and it’s currently in the hands of Chesterfield police.

While they could not describe the content or nature of the video, they confirmed that they believed Doe was targeted for his sexual orientation.

CPD could not confirm if the assailant was currently behind bars, but they did express concern over the lack of movement on the case.

“We want to see [Doe] is taken care of and the right thing is done,” Anderson said.

Within a few weeks, Doe said he was contacted by the FBI and the US Attorney’s office.

In a private meeting, he was told the federal agency would pick up the case, and explained to him the complicated nature of charging the attacker with a hate crime because Virginia lacks sexual orientation in their list of protected classes in hate crime charges.

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