A Philadelphia councilman is calling for the U.S. attorney to take over the investigation of the assault on a gay couple a week ago.
The letter below from Councilman Jim Kenney to U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger says any charges in the case should be brought under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act because there are stronger penalties involved.
“Sadly, Pennsylvania does not have a provision in its statute for gay bashing, which it clearly is, Kenney said Thursday. “Fifteen people, cowards, who jumped on two men because of who they are and what they profess is clearly a hate crime in my mind.”
The councilman also has a message for anyone who wants to take similar action.
“If you are a homophobe or a racist and you live in the suburbs or anywhere else, we don’t want you in our city,” he said. “We don’t want you coming to our restaurants, walking our streets. When two men who happen to love each other and live with each other can’t go out for a pizza without having their jaw wired shut that’s a disgrace.”
The U.S. attorney’s office has received the letter and is aware of the case, but a representative said there is no further comment.