The victim of the horrific beating caught on video in Atlanta has come forward and police identified him as Brandon White, 20. He was beaten by men shouting anti-gay slurs and the incident is being treated as a hate crime and has caught the attention of the FBI, as it should.
The victim spoke at a midday news conference Wednesday.
In the news conference, the victim spoke, along with Atlanta area gay activists and leaders from the Pittsburgh community. All of them soundly condemned the attack, along with the ongoing gang activity in that area.
Brandon White was attacked outside the JVC Grocery and Deli at the corner of Delevan and McDaniel streets in the Pittsburgh community on Atlanta’s south side Saturday afternoon, and video of the attack was uploaded to WorldStarHipHop.com.
After its initial posting, footage from the video went viral, surfacing on YouTube and other news and video sites on the web.
The video depicts the attack as White left the store. At least three men punch and kick the victim. One person tosses a tire onto the victim. As he is beaten, an onlooker yells “no more f****** in Jack City,” repeatedly. Two other views of the attack have come from store surveillance video, which show that at least one of the attackers apparently waited for White to emerge from the store.
White has spoken with Atlanta police and federal investigators looking into the attack.
In response, US Attorney Sally Yates said Monday, a priority of her office is the elimination of violent gang activity. Her office is looking into whether the attack violated federal law, including the federal hate crime statute.
Pittsburgh community residents said the corner where White was attacked has been the scene of other acts of violence. They called for the JVC store to be shut down.
“Pittsburgh is not Jack City,” said LaShawn M. Hoffman, head of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association.
He said he is alarmed by the fact that no one on that corner thought to call police while White was being beaten.
“This is not the norm for our neighborhood,” he said.
Police are offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible for the attack, and are asking anyone who has any information to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477. Callers can remain anonymous.