Dozens of Carroll Gardens residents rallied against hate on Monday night at Luquer Street between Hamilton Avenue and Clinton Street, steps from the spot where a gay man was attacked two weeks earlier.
Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio, Comptroller John Liu, Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope) joined a few dozen candle-bearers — a crowd that impressed some residents, though it left some activists disappointed.
“It’s kind of surprising that there weren’t more people here,” said Brooklyn Heights resident Richard Murray as he held his boyfriend’s hand.
“It’s totally necessary to come here, right where the attack took place,” he said, gazing up at spectators who preferred to watch, anonymous, from their windows above. “The people of this block are all looking out of every window. They need to know that this stuff is not going to be tolerated.”
Like most pols, DeBlasio, who used to represent the district in the Council, spoke of a “call to action” against hate.
“Hate crimes like this are blatant attacks on New Yorkers’ core values,” he said.
Lander derided the attackers as “idiots who acted outside the consensus of the neighborhood.”
The consensus of the neighborhood was certainly not on the minds of five thugs on March 2 when they attacked a 22-year-old Red Hook resident as he made his way past Luquer Street.
Anti-gay slurs were thrown as easily as punches when the man was beaten to the ground, left with bruises to his face and the back of his head.
The suspects remain at large.
A friend of the victim said he was too traumatized to attend the rally.
Yet in almost the same breath, the friend, Mike Miller, said the attack wasn’t going to stop him from walking the streets of Carroll Gardens anytime soon.
“I’m not afraid,” he said. “You can’t be afraid.”
Anyone with information about the attack is asked to call (800) 577-TIPS. In response to the attack, the Brooklyn community Pride Center has put together an LGBT Community Safety Survey. To participate, go to https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?hl=en&formkey=dFBxZFRValVVNTNrbTdUclpzTGNCMmc6MA.