Suspects used anti-gay slurs and referenced monkeypox in D.C. assault beneath investigation as potential hate crime, police say

Washington, D.C., police are investigating a potential hate crime after two males stated they have been attacked this weekend by suspects who hurled homophobic slurs at them and referenced monkeypox. 

The 2 males have been strolling within the Shaw neighborhood Sunday night after they alleged they have been approached by two suspects, who they stated used an anti-gay slur and referenced monkeypox, earlier than punching them a number of instances, the Metropolitan Police Division stated in an incident report. The suspects destroyed one of many victims’ sun shades earlier than fleeing the scene. 

The 2 victims have been taken to the hospital and handled for non-life-threatening accidents, police stated in a information launch. 

Police stated they’re investigating the assault as “doubtlessly being motivated by hate or bias,” and launched photos of two individuals of curiosity. 

Police launched photos of two individuals of curiosity in a possible hate crime in DC

Metropolitan Police Division

In a statement posted to Twitter Tuesday, Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser stated that she was “deeply disturbed” by the alleged hate crime, and thanked the Metropolitan Police Division’s LGBT Liaison Unit for serving to with the investigation. 

“Every time a hate crime occurs in our metropolis, it’s our collective accountability to know the function we every play in constructing a safer neighborhood for all who stay in and go to D.C.,” her assertion learn, partially. “We should arise for our associates and neighbors, particularly now when there may be a lot anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric sweeping our nation. We should name out the individuals in our circles in the event that they promote hateful or ignorant ideology, particularly proper now when individuals are utilizing public well being to stigmatize and discriminate towards members of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood.” 

The assault comes per week after the White Home declared the monkeypox outbreak within the U.S. a public well being emergency. By Wednesday, the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention have tallied no less than 9,493 circumstances nationwide. All however two states — Montana and Wyoming — have reported recognizing no less than one an infection. 

The vast majority of monkeypox infections are nonetheless believed to be spreading by means of shut intimate contact amongst males who’ve intercourse with males. The CDC at present estimates that between 1.6 and 1.7 million People are within the teams at present being prioritized for vaccines. They embody people who find themselves residing with HIV, who’re males who’ve intercourse with males, and others who’re at excessive danger for HIV. 

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