This is one I will keep an eye on. It showcases a confluence of left wing interests that can't withstand the same place and time.
I will be watching how those in the civil rights community that lobbied to expand "Hate Crimes" to homosexuals will take the lead in putting the "Hate Crimes Additive Penalty" to these Black minors who robbed the Gay couple in Piedmont Park. These "Black minors" who don't need to be thrown into jail and have their life derailed by the prison industrial complex. If there were no confluence these are the two arguments that would be made.
The unspoken truth about "Though Crimes Laws" is that it provides the Progressive Left an opportunity to express the same vengeance that they condemn within "law and order" conservatives. They provide cover for their own hatred by notating that a "Thought Crime" works to send a message to a broad body of individuals not just the individual that was attacks. The punishment is a symbol that the community stands united to send a message of: "We will not stand for your type of intolerance and intimidation".
I predict, however that we will see in this case is that there will be no spirited crowd with pitch forks demanding such vengeance. The offenses of the "thoughts" that transpired during the assault will be minimized. After all there is an interest in NOT "throwing the assailants under the jail and throwing away the key" in this specific case.
Both the left wing Atlanta Gay community that seeks to put a cap on these type of attacks and the Black Establishment Civil Rights Community that is seeking reforms in the criminal justice system so that scores of Black males are not incarcerated have a vested interest to huddle up at the next "Leadership Conference On Civil Rights" meeting of the Atlanta chapter (if one exists) and conspire to work out a common indictment to which neither steps on the other's toes.
My suggestion: Sell this incident as evidence of what happens when a group of "societal undesirables" are made to suffer the benign neglect from society. After society has violently scowled at them, they have no choice but to attack like a pit bull who has been trained to kill. These 6 kids should not be on trial here - SOCIETY must stand trial for making them this way. Deprived of property and dignity they chose to take the property of two individuals who society has blessed and who were showing their love for each other in Piedmont Park. This same dark and desolate society also had these young Black men to hate the sign of love that was something other than the hetero-normative ideal that the oppressive conservative society had indoctrinated them with. This same conservative dogma that has them marginalized also has them seeking to marginalize other minority groups using violent intimidation.
Indeed the spirit of the Tea Parties that marched in Piedmont Park a few short months ago still has this sacred ground possessed.
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One man and five minors were arrested in Piedmont Park on Friday night after an assault and robbery of a gay couple, according to an Atlanta police report.
At approximately 10 p.m., Jarvis Johnson, 19, and five other males ranging in age from 13 to 17 approached two men having a picnic in Piedmont Park, asked if they were gay and then threatened them, the report states. The suspects then began to attack each individual separately.
"We were just finishing up dinner and playing cards when they came up to us and asked if we were gay," Joshua Noblitt, 32, told the AJC on Tuesday. "It wasn't very organized. I don't know if they thought gay men in the park would be an easy target based on stereotypes and stuff, or what."
Noblitt said one of the suspects used a large stick to assault him, which he grabbed away from him and turned on his assailant.
The report states that Noblitt and his boyfriend, Trent Williams, 25, "began to get the best of the suspects," and Johnson used his cellphone to call for help from friends.
Several other teenagers ran into the field to help Johnson and the other suspects in the beating.
Noblitt fled to Charles Allen Drive,where he called 911 from his cellphone.
A suspect in a black tank top, who Noblitt believed to be Johnson, took the cellphone from Noblitt, put a gun to his face and demanded his wallet.
Noblitt sustained a visible head injury and back pain from being kicked in the head and kidneys, the report states.
"I had a bruise across my forehead which is finally going away today, and I went to the doctor today about a possible broken rib, but I think it's just bruised," Noblitt said.
After responding to the call, police found several of the suspects ducking behind a building, where they were approached by several officers. Further investigation revealed that the suspects were involved in a previous armed robbery minutes earlier in the evening at Linden and Central Park Place.
"I have to say, the LGBT community and the Atlanta police haven't always gotten along, but the police were very respectful in their response time and the treatment of me and my partner," Noblitt said. "And they were able to catch most of [the suspects]."
Noblitt, the Social Justice Minister at St. Mark's Methodist Church, said he has worked with people in criminal justice before. Although he is happy his assailants were caught, he worries about them.
"I saw on the police report that one of them was only 13. They could potentially be tried as adults because it was an armed robbery," he said. "I'm just sad that this whole thing happened. It breaks my heart."