An attack laced with homophobic slurs outside Carver High School that sent two gay Atlanta teens to the hospital, one with a screwdriver gash across his face, will not be pursued as a hate crime or face any bias investigation, police say.
Now being referred to as “a fight amongst kids” viewed by at least 100 bystanders, the Monday attack was initially reported by police as two friends being jumped by a mob of 20 teens “because they were gay.” Now four students, including the two victims, will be charged with misdemeanors.
Details are sparse as to how it has de-escalated from a homophobic mob attack to an average schoolyard quarrel, and one victim — 15-year-old Timothy Jefferson — is publicly calling foul.
Jefferson says he and the other victim, 17-year-old Zy’derryo Brown, came out two years ago and have faced relentless homophobia from other students since.
“They don’t like us cause we’re gay. We fight all the time cause we’re gay at Carver,” Jefferson told WXIA-TV.
Jefferson and his mother also say they warn the high school every time they hear of a planned attack, including the one that occurred Monday. The Atlanta school system declined to comment, referring questions to Atlanta Police.
“[Timothy] may tell a different story, but for our investigation, it’s not going to be classified as a bias (or hate) crime,” police spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy told the NY Daily News, citing surveillance footage.
Brown will be charged with disorderly conduct while the three other teens will face charges of affray.