Gary Bravo of Huntsville Alabama was “gay bashed” in front of a downtown bar and suffered four broken bones in his face, a fractured ankle and he has not regained full vision in his right eye yet. And if that was not bad enough Bravo also had to deal with the Huntsville Police who refused to report the fact that he attacked for being gay and left it out of the report.
According to Bravo two men beat him and used anti-gay slurs after he tried to stop them from accosting his female friend Friday, June 5.
He said he and his female friend had just bought hot dogs outside of Sammy T’s when one of the men grabbed his friend’s arm. Bravo stepped in and told them to leave her alone. “The next thing I remember, is being swung around and being swung at,” Bravo said. “I ducked, and then after that my memory goes blank.”
Bravo believes the attack was motivated by his sexual orientation.
“When you use f—– and a few other choice words that are not appropriate for all ages, you know it’s directed to you,” Bravo said. “It’s not just a normal fight.”
Free2be Safe Anti-Violence Project set up a special fund for Bravo and have raised approximately $1,800 of their $2,500 goal, according to James Robinson, Free2Be executive director.
Robison said police took Bravo’s statement directly after the altercation.
Bravo said police left his statements about his attackers using anti-gay slurs out of the report.
“You’re an officer of the law,” Bravo said. “You should not object to putting something in a report. Everything should be taken down. It should not be ignored just because I’m a gay man and you don’t want to hear it.”
Lt. Darryl Lawson, communications relation officer with the Huntsville Police Department, said that type of information is not included in a report, just a narrative of the incident.
“We won’t necessarily put in (the report) he said this, she said that,” Lawson said.
Lawson said he was unaware of Bravo or any witness telling police officers that anti-gay slurs were said by the attackers.
“It would still be an assault-second charge,” Lawson said. “The only time the hate crime law comes into play is as an enhancement to whatever the sentencing is.”
Alabama’s hate crime law does not apply to sexual orientation, but if it did, Lawson said, “it would not be a factor at this point in the case” .