In the world, there are people of all sorts of ethnicities , beliefs, and desires. But what happens when groups of people shout slurs and belittle a specific group of people to the point of physical attack? Unfortunately, this type of event occurred on September 11, 2014 when three people brutally assaulted a gay couple in downtown Philadelphia at night. Those three people have been charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, and recklessly endangering another person The suspects eventually turned themselves into the police when “amateur sleuths” identified the suspects on Twitter using the surveillance provided by the Philadelphia Police Department.
The men, a 28-year-old and a 27-year-old, and the three suspects started the confrontation when one of the victims punched one of the girls face according to Williams’s attorney, Fortunato Perri Jr. The suspects, Philip R. Williams and Kathryn G. Knott, 24; along with Kevin J. Harrigan, 26, are accused of beating the two gay men in the head and chest while shouting homophobic slurs and comments about their sexual orientation. The victims have been hospitalized for their injuries and one of the men needed surgery for fractures and lacerations to the face. This occurred near Rittenhouse Square.
This confrontation does not help others to understand each other’s differences. The three suspects did not treat the couple as people for our ever-changing society. As clearly stated on of the suspects, Kathryn Knott’s Twitter profile, Knott used comments and hashtags such as “#gay is #ew” and #dyke, according to the Philadelphia Daily News, respectively. Knott is also the daughter of a local police chief. Aggravated assault and homophobic slurs should not occur when each individual completely understands on another. This does not mean that we change our viewpoints on what we do or what we believe, but in order to reduce the assault charges on certain types of people, we as a people need to understand each other to become better people. The Pennsylvania hate crime law does not protect gays, however if we understand each other, we wouldn’t have problems like this in the future.