Members of the Harrisburg LGBTQ community are furious that charges have not been filed against a man who physically assaulted a member of their community at Sunday’s Equality March. The incident occurred on the Capitol steps, and photos of the unconscious victim and videos of the assault have gone viral within the Harrisburg community.
The older man who was acting as a lone counter-protester was standing on a concrete divider where the edge of the Capitol steps meets the grass. Members and allies of the LGBTQ community surrounded the man and used their flags and signs as a way to drown out his counter demonstration. A video that is right in front of the action shows the man walking along the concrete divider as the victim tries to snatch the sign out of his hands. The man, who is at least two to three times the size of the victim, swings his arm across his body and pushes the victim off of the concrete divider by their head.
According to those on the scene, the man who committed the assault may have been a leftover from Saturday’s March Against Sharia event. The man was allegedly shouting for more mass shootings that occurred at Pulse Night Club in Orlando, Florida last year. The mass shooting was one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history and most of the victims were members of Orlando’s LGBTQ community.
After the assault occurred, one of the Capitol police officers who was present approached a member of the LGBTQ Center of Central Pennsylvania and threatened to charge the assault victim with robbery charges for attempting to grab the sign out of the man’s hands. Since the assault took place on the Capitol steps, the investigation into the incident falls under the purview of the Capitol Police. Department of General Services spokesman Troy Thompson stated that no charges have been filed against the man who assaulted the victim, but an investigation into the incident is still underway.
Here’s a video of the assault and photo:
Don’t think marginalized lives are in real danger? My best friend was punched in the face at a peaceful #EqualityMarch today. The fight for #equality has never been easy. We have always faced violence. This just got so very real and so very personal. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. (Tw: slurs/aggression/violent speech/details) I share because people need to know the violence we still face. . . . . . Cas was assaulted (punched three times, hair and piercings yanked, drawing blood) by a leftover protestor from yesterday’s anti-Muslim march, who was shouting for more Pulse shootings and death to Islam, and carrying a sign claiming that “3rd world immigrants are bringing drug resistant aids to America.” He was also pushing young people, likely under 14. He was previously asked to leave, and did not. Thankfully, the assaulter was cuffed and escorted by police. Cas received swift medical attention and is still shaken, still cleaning some blood, but up and walking. An officer then harassed LGBT Center staff, claiming Cas had stolen the sign and could be arrested for felony robbery. If this was the case, why was Cas not cuffed after receiving medical care? Why come after staff later? And not a word about the individual who committed FELONY ASSAULT. This feels too much like intentional intimidation towards our community. The Pulse shooting of Latinx queer people was one year ago, yesterday. Some things have changed. Far too much has stayed the same. Fuck the powers that be. We won’t be silenced. We won’t be shut down. We’ve been here forever, and we’re not going away. When queer lives are under attack, what do we do? #StandUpFightBack