Bronx District Attorney, Robert T. Johnson held a meeting today at 3pm at his offices to speak with the Bronx LGBT community on the recent anti gay hate crime in the Bronx last month.
The meeting was convened after the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered leadership of the Bronx expressed extreme concern after charges were dropped for 3 of the suspects in the case of imprisonment and torture of 3 men suspected of being gay.
First thing Robert T. Johnson said was that he wanted to apologize for not reaching out to the Bronx LGBT Community when the case first happened. He also voiced his commitment to the LGBT community and everyone of the Bronx.
3 were dismissed because of lack of evidence against them, according to Mr. Johnson. One of the reasons they also decided to drop the charges were to create a level of trust with the jurors as well to show that a thorough investigation is being conducted.
He also went to note that the Anti Violence Project has had contact with the DA's office when the case occurred.
Mr. Lewis Goldstein, vice president of the New York State Democratic Committee as well as an openly gay man made a passionate speech praising Robert T. Johnson's decisions regarding this case as well as speaking highly of Mr. Johnson's commitment during his career. He also urged Mr. Johnson to work closely Bronx Community Pride Center to bring these talks to the schools to end the bullying epidemics.
Mr. Dirk McCall, executive director of Bronx Community Pride Center said that one of the biggest concerns with the dropping off the charges was the message to the rest of the community that is open season on members of the Bronx Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered community.
After several individuals spoke, the floor was opened for questions, several attendees expressed their frustration with the dropping of the charges on the 3 suspects. Francisco Lazala said that DA's office, "should have waited a little longer to gather more evidence against those individuals."
William Casari, Librarian at Hostos Community College asked Robert Johnson how strong was the evidence against the remaining 7 suspects to which Mr. Johnson replied that, "they're varying levels of evidence against each suspect" and that he's, "confident that overall it is pretty strong. "
Bronx Borough President, Ruben Diaz, Jr's staff was on hand to lend support to the LGBT community and express that his office is also outraged at the dropping of the charges.
Let's see where this goes from here people... after a two hour meeting there were many great ideas as well as concerns heard.
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