Another homophobic attack in Jamaica

Published: September 22, 2013

At around 11 p.m. on the evening of September 21, 2013, a young gay Jamaican man was walking home after visiting a friend in the community of Newlands, St. Catherine. Without warning he was set upon and stoned by a mob of men shouting “Ketch di battyboy” [catch the faggot], “Kill the battyman,” “Hol’ him no mek him get way” [Hold him and don’t let him escape].  This youngster had passed these men on several occasions before without incident.

 
The athletic young man ran for his life but not before three stones slammed into his back. Despite this he managed to escape.
 
He is understandably fearful of reporting the incident to the police because he feels he will be ridiculed and further victimized.  I understand his fear.
 
Last year a young gay man in Montego Bay was similarly attacked near his home by a man who hurled stones and homophobic slurs at him.  When the youngster went to report the incident to the police, they ridiculed him and said that he had not suffered an attack because what had occurred was a mere “stone-throwing.” This was because none of the projectiles had actually hit him.  When the young man called me from the police station to report this ridiculous statement by the police, I immediately drove to the station and had a loud and frustrating debate with the recording officer in the lobby before finally convincing him that what had occurred was in fact an assault and that he had a duty to take the report.

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