DC mayor Adrian Fenty has agreed to meet with LGBT community activists about ways to stem anti-LGBT violence following a wave of attacks that include the December 16th murder of Durval Martins. Mayor Fenty had come under intense criticism for failing to publicly address concerns among LGBT residents of the District about the perceived rise in anti-gay attacks in the city.
Gays and Lesbian Opposing Violence (GLOV) issued a public letter to Mayor Fenty calling for a meeting.
The meeting scheduled for January 16th will include members of GLOV, Mayor Fenty and D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
"Mayor Fenty has shown great foresight by inviting Chief Lanier to the meeting," said Chris Farris, a GLOV co-chair. "We know that our police play a crucial role in solving the problem and we look forward to hearing how he and the MPD are working to end the violence plaguing our community, as well as how he plans to see that justice is served on behalf of the victims."
Todd Metrokin, GLOV's other co-chair, joined Farris and other gay community representatives to testify last month before a D.C. City Council hearing about anti-gay violence. Farris, Metrokin and the other witnesses voiced concerns about police handling of some of the recent incidents of anti-gay violence in the city.
Farris testified that GLOV learned of some cases where police did not identify in reporting documents that assault incidents were hate crimes targeting gay men, even though evidence showed that anti-gay bias was the clear motive in the crime.
"The problem of bias crimes is complex and we believe the mayor understands that it must be addressed on multiple levels," Metrokin said. "We applaud his leadership on this issue and are looking forward to seeing progress."