The Cape Cod Times Exposes Three Incidents Currently Under Investigation By Provincetown Police As Potential Hate Crimes Indicating that 2007 Was NOT "The Summer of Love" for This "Gay Friendly" Vacation Community
In today's Cape Cod Times, Mary Ann Bragg, staff writer, reports that there are currently THREE possible hate crimes under investigation by the Provincetown Police Department.
Bragg's Article reads...Off-Cape resident Richard Hall, a gay man, was allegedly assaulted at around 12:45 a.m. on Sept. 10 near Court and Commercial streets after being called a "faggot."
A second gay man, Daniel Coburn, 42, of East Hartford, Conn., has told police he and others were called "faggots" by a young man on June 30, also near Court and Commercial streets. The alleged perpetrator also pushed other people, threatened Coburn and threw rocks at others, according to Coburn.
In the third incident under police scrutiny, two gay men were allegedly hit with bikes in late August by a group of local youths, Provincetown police Sgt. Carrie Lopes said.
If this information is not disturbing enough, the Cape Cod Times article goes on to say that Provincetown's last official "hate crime" was in 2004, down from 21 in 1991, according to town records and police. Sgt. Lopes told the Cape Cod Times that Provincetown averages about five hate incidents a year.
When KnowThyNeighbor first reported on the Gay-Bashing of Richard Hall last week, we drew heavy criticism from a small publication, The Cape Codder. In the article, Steve Desroches devotes over half of his column space to presenting inaccuracies in my reporting (inaccuracies which I owned in my blog post) and to defending the Provincetown Police Department. Desroches writes, "Aside from the crime that occured, the false information and innuendo that circulated has done significant damage to the reputation of the town and the police department." "Aside from the crime that occured?"!!!
I certainly can understand the need to discuss the role of bloggers in the world of journalism in this very powerful medium known as the internet, so Steve Desroches certainly has the right to question me, listen to my recorded audio with of the victim and ask how KnowThyNeighbor became the first point of contact and reaching out for Mr. Hall when it seemed to him that no one, especially the police, had his best interests in mind (of course Desroches did not contact me or ask for a statement). But what I don't understand is the "Circle the Wagons" mentality of some people in Provincetown and the police presumably fueled by the fear of losing the bottom line $$$$.
I want nothing better than to believe that LGBT people are safe in Provincetown. I want to believe that the health and well-being of one solitary individual trumps the almighty dollar. I want to believe that the Provincetown Police do their job. I want to believe that the gay community has has a place to turn in times of crisis. I want to believe that the press shows the highest integrity. I want to believe that there aren't young people in Provincetown calling gay men faggots and causing them harm. I want to believe that what happened to Richard Hall could never happen to me or to my husband, especially in a town like Provincetown.
I want to believe in alot of things...
Tom Lang, Director