Police: Spokane Beating Not Hate Crime

By Winston Gieseke

Originally published on Advocate.com October 10 2011 2:15 PM ET

A man who was badly beaten outside of a Spokane, Wash., gay bar was not the victim of a hate crime, say police.

At a news conference Saturday, Danny Hawkins told the media he had left Dempsey’s Brass Rail around 1:00 a.m. and was walking when he encountered a vehicle. Thinking the driver hadn’t seen him, Hawkins says he put his hand on the car’s hood. Hawkins says the driver jumped out the car and beat him up, all the while yelling antigay slurs.

“There were words that were very derogatory and aimed at hurting me personally,” said Hawkins, quoted by local news channel KXLY 4. “It's the 21st century and that kind of thing shouldn't happen, we're all people, treat everybody the way you want to be treated.”

While Hawkins feels the antigay slurs constitute a hate crime, Spokane Police say there is no evidence — including witnesses to back up Hawkins’s claims — to prove that the fight was anything other than a drunken brawl.

Hawkins — who admitted he couldn’t remember details of the fight or what his attacker looked like — was so intoxicated, police say, that he was unable to provide the responding officer with his own birthday or address.

Read the full story here.