D.C. LGBT Advocate Wants More Aggressive Prosecution of Hate Crimes | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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D.C. LGBT Advocate Wants More Aggressive Prosecution of Hate Crimes

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Anti-violence advocates in Washington's gay and transgender community say the district still has a long way to go when it comes to fighting hate crimes.

The stabbing death of a 21 year old has put the issue back in the spotlight. Police say it's still too early to say whether the stabbing death of 21 year old Joshua Mack in broad daylight on Q Street in Northwest was definitely a hate crime.

Jennie Mayes has lived on the block for nearly 30 years -- and says her neighborhood was friendly to transgender people like Joshua Mack. "They give us respect and we give them respect," Mayes said.

Chris Farris, with the anti-violence task force GLOV, says he's been impressed by how police have handled the immediate aftermath of possible hate crimes. He's more worried about what happens to perpetrators of sexual-orientation based hate crimes once they've been arrested.

"What I am seeing is a lack of aggression in enforcing all the laws that we have to prosecute these crimes," Farris said.

A spokesman for the D.C. U.S. Attorney's Office says prosecutors take every homicide case seriously, regardless of the victims sexual orientation.

Jonathan Wilson reports...

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