A recent assault at a Manhattan CVS has been caught on camera, and now police are saying the attacker made antigay remarks and they are investigating the incident as a hate crime, CBS2 reports.
The surveillance footage shows one man approach another in a CVS and take a huge, swinging punch at his head, knocking him to the ground. The attacker then walked down the street yelling and appeared to lunge at another person. The suspect was allegedly yelling antigay slurs as he attacked the man.
The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is now investigating and searching for the suspect, who had his face mask around his chin during the incident.
A local LGBTQ+ advocate, Cathy Marino-Thomas, said inequality is still a problem, even in cities like New York. “It’s New York City, and lots of people think that we don’t have those problems here, but the truth of the matter is hate is everywhere. And it’s an unfortunate situation that we’re still dealing with homophobia in the city,” she said.
The victim, who is 24, refused medical service at the scene.
Anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes saw a sharp increase under former President Trump. In 2018, nearly one in five hate crimes reported in the United States were against LGBTQ+ people. The following year saw a 3 percent increase in overall hate crimes, the largest single-year increase since 2008. Crimes based on gender identity increased from 2.2 percent of the total number of hate crimes the previous year, to 2.7 percent that year. Additionally, the number of LGBTQ+ hate groups in the U.S. increased from 49 in 2018, to 70 just one year later in 2019.