March to Protest Antigay Crimes in D.C. Draws Large Crowd

By Josh Hinkle

Originally published on Advocate.com March 21 2012 4:42 PM ET

Approximately 700 people marched in Washington, D.C., Tuesday night to stand up against crimes committed on LGBT people within a recent two-day period.

Patrick Pressman, a friend of one of the victims, organized the march. "It was a Facebook event and I expected maybe 15 to 50 people to show up," Pressman told the Washington Blade.

Cathy Lanier, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of D.C., made a statement before the march began. "We have everybody working on this and I think everybody's committed," she told fellow marchers. "We kind of take it personally when people in our community are targeted."

The march started at the International House of Pancakes at 14th and Irving streets, where a 31-year-old gay man was shot March 11 after being called antigay names. Supporters marched to the intersection of Irving Street and Georgia Avenue, where a 29-year-old gay man was attacked and beaten the next day. The march ended at Cobalt, a local gay bar that hosted a fund-raiser for the second victim.