Articles Tagged with Hate Crime

Greenwich Village is a mostly residential area of the west side of Lower Manhattan. The largest majority of people who live there are basically upper middle class families. Known in the latter part of the 19th century through the present, the “Village” has been labeled a haven for artists, as well as the bohemian capital of New York City. It is also credited as the birthplace of the Beat movement of the East Coast. The neighborhood is encompassed by Broadway to the east and the Hudson River to its furthest point west. To the south lies Houston Street and it travels north to 14th Street. The neighborhood essentially centers New York University and Washington Square Park.

Living among the wealthy residents who live in stylish apartment buildings or own their own renovated brownstones, there is a large gay community. This group is known to mostly frequent the bars and clubs of the west village.

While traveling through the Village it is not unusual to run across openly gay members of its population. Two men, or two women, walking together holding hands with each other is more the rule than its exception. Especially north of the Avenue of the Americas which is the unofficial line of demarcation separating the east and west village. Within the community’s whole there is the realm of gay men and lesbians and the bars they frequent as well as the domain of straight men and women who visit clubs that fit a heterosexual lifestyle.

It was on a corner of the Avenue of the Americas that Mark Carson, 32, heard the words “You want to die tonight?”

Carson was walking with a companion as he was being followed by Elliot Morales, who was repeatedly shouting anti-gay slurs at the two. After his final hateful proclamation, he allegedly shot Carson in the face with a silver revolver. Carson was found fatally wounded by police lying in the street and later died of his injuries after being taken to Beth Israel Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

A short time later, Morales was picked up when a police officer spotted him a few blocks away from the crime scene. The officer heard the description of the perpetrator on his radio and made the arrest upon seeing Morales.

Approximately 15 minutes before the murder took place, the alleged killer was noticed urinating outside a fashionable restaurant a few blocks from the crime scene, according to New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. Kelly labeled the murder a hate crime. “There were no words that would aggravate the situation, and the victim did not know the perpetrator,” he said.

Before a commencement address that he delivered in White Plains, when speaking about the incident, he went on to say “It is clear that the victim here was killed only because and just because he was thought to be gay. There is no question about that.”

Police also questioned two unidentified individuals who had been seen with Morales moments before the shooting took place. The Police Department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne, said that the two men were questioned as witnesses to the murder and were not, considered suspects at this time. He also said that they were cooperating with the authorities.

According to state Department of Correction records it was found that Mr. Morales had been found guilty of a robbery and served more than 10 years in prison for his conviction of that crime. Until his arrest he had been staying with one of the two men who is now being questioned as a witness at his home in Far Rockaway, Queens. Police found another gun amongst Mr. Morales’s belongings at that location.

According to an undisclosed source, Mr. Morales’s sister, Edith Gutierrez, said she did not believe her brother could have committed a crime of such bias. She said that they have gay relatives and her brother had never shown any signs of homophobia. She also said that when she spoke with her brother in jail, “he said he doesn’t remember anything; he was under the influence, he was drinking.”

After making his first appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court, he was charged with murder and weapons charges, according to the Wall Street Journal. Pending his next court appearance he is being held without bail as ordered by Judge Robert Stolz.

Morales, said nothing at his arraignment in Manhattan Criminal Court and his attorney chose not to comment on the case.

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The Matthew Shepard Act, in full named the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act is an action of Congress that was passed in Oct. 2009 by a bipartisan Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama. The law boosts the 1969 federal hate-crime law concerning bias-motivated crimes, or race hate that includes but is not limited to include crimes motivated by a victim’s gender identity, actual or perceived gender, disability, or sexual orientation.

Three men from two separately known alleged “hate” groups were sentenced for their roles in a 2011 New Year’s Eve attack in accordance with this law.

On August 7, Michal Gunar, 29, of East Windsor, New Jersey, was sentenced to 33 months in prison. His codefendant, Kyle Powell, 24, of West Collingswood, New Jersey, was sentenced to 15 months behind bars.

Both men were known members of the Aryan Terror Brigade (ATB) and were arrested in December 2012 along with Christopher Ising, 31, of Waretown, who was a disciple of another New Jersey-based white supremacist organization known as the Atlantic City “Skinheads”. Gunar and Powell were both sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Joel A. Pisano on August 7 and Ising learned his fate two days later in federal Court in Trenton.

Gunar and Ising had previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging them with conspiracy to commit a hate crime assault, as well as the actual commission of a hate crime assault. Powell only pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of conspiracy to commit a hate crime assault which resulted in his slighter sentence and the shortened period of incarceration.

Based on the original allegations, the three men along with other like-minded individuals were reveling together at what has been labeled a “meet and greet” occasion for white supremacists that was being held in East Brunswick, NJ at Mr. Ising’s home.

Court reports demonstrated that at the conclusion of the event, the three men and other party goers, propelled by alcohol and white supremacist music drove to a nearby apartment complex located in the neighboring town of Sayreville. They were psyched up and it appeared that their principal objective was to assault random non-Caucasian individuals.

Ising, who had brass knuckles in his possession, and Gunar, flaunting a large knife, hauled one of their victims out of a parked car that was located in the apartment complex’s parking lot, according to the indictment. At that time, a friend of the victim ran to his aid. He too was then attacked.

The first of their targets was beaten in the head and repeatedly punched in the face as Gunar allegedly hollered, “show me your faces you Arab sand niggers,” Ising attacked the second man punching him in the head, using the brass knuckles he brought along specifically for the occasion. Powell was not involved in the actual assault but purportedly stood in close proximity observing; as the assault was carried out. Both victims were of Egyptian descent. Their names have been withheld and have only been referred to as M.H. and R.M.

Following the attack the two thugs returned to Ising’s house where Gunar bragged about the attack on his Facebook page and posted a pair of bloodied pants. Later that week he posted the racial slur, previously mentioned above and wrote “it was me and my other bro on like 6 or eight and we whooped them”

According to Wikipedia a “hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates and practices hatred, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other designated sector of society.”

The FBI labels hate groups whose “primary purpose is to promote animosity, hostility, and malice against persons belonging to a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or ethnicity/national origin which differs from that of the members of the organization.”

Both the Aryan Terror Brigade and Atlantic City Skinheads are acknowledged as being part of the neo-Nazi Blood and Honor Network, which currently has been making a concerted effort to reconstruct the associates amid street hate groups, using white power concerts, events and rallies as their means.

To view the FBI’s latest press release, regarding the statistics associated with hate crimes click here. The most recent press release concerning this article can be found here.

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