The Metropolitan Police Department continues to investigate three attacks this month against members of the D.C. gay and transgender community. One victim was shot in the stomach at an IHOP restaurant, and the other two were beaten and robbed on the street.
While D.C. laws do not include hate crimes per se, there are enhanced penalties attached to other crimes that include bias behavior.
At least two of the recent cases had clear indications of hate speech and bias because of homophobic comments made by the suspects, according to MPD Chief Cathy Lanier.
Once suspects are arrested, the District Attorney's office will determine if enhanced penalties based on hate speech can be added to the primary charges, Lanier says.