A video posted to Twitter showing a gunman targeting a man he suspects is gay is now the subject of a hate crime investigation, after that tweet went viral and outraged viewers reported it to Detroit police.
In the video, which is no longer viewable by the public because the account was made private, a man who uses the handle @Binswanson is recording a cellphone movie in the parking lot of a liquor store, while seated in the passenger seat of a car. WDIV-TV showed the clip, in which the gunman calls a man over to his open window and points a gun at him while calling him homophobic slurs and telling him to drop his pants.
Among the slurs: “Gay as hell,” “dick-in-the-booty-ass,” and the N-word.
The gunman never fired his gun and the man seen in the video ran away.
@Binswanson posted that video Tuesday at 8 p.m., and mocked the man whom he said he believed was gay. That clip was shared thousands of times before it was made private. Detroit police say they are on the hunt for @Binswanson.
“It’s very troubling that anybody that would be that brazen to think that they could just point a gun at an average citizen and then post it up on social media as though nothing would ever happen,” said Sgt. Michael Woody to WDIV. “The level of intolerance he displayed on his social media site when he posted the video does meet some of the elements of a hate crime.”
One clue to the gunman can be found on the social media sharing site, Periscope, where on Wednesday at around noon, someone with the same profile picture and username, @Binswanson, posted a 48-minute video filled with repeated slurs and the N-word, declaring he would have killed the man in the video had he taken off his pants.
The man who appears on camera in the Periscope video encourages others who “hate gays” to follow him, with the offer that he would follow them back. “That gun was fake,” the man says to the camera in the Periscope video. “For any of (you) trying to incriminate me, that gun was fake.”
Click here to watch WDIV-TV’s report.