Did A Man Lie On This Alleged Gay-Basher Because Of His Race?
It was a story that captured marginal headlines: A White gay couple gay-bashed by two Black men at a NYC-area restaurant.
The incident happened on Cinco De Mayo of this year at the Dallas BBQ in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood. According to DNAInfo, Jonathan Snipes, 32, and his boyfriend were having drinks and allegedly minding their own business when they were clobbered in the head and beat down by two Black men. Allegedly, the Black men used homophobic slurs, including “white fa**ot,” during the unprovoked attack.
More specifically, the website DNAInfo had previously reported:
“These guys attacked us specifically because they knew we weren’t their type of people,” said Jonathan Snipes, 32, who had a tooth knocked loose and cartilage snapped in his ear during the beating.
“It was disgusting. It was awful,” Snipes, who was attacked alongside his boyfriend Ethan York-Adams, 25, told DNAinfo New York.
In one video, York-Adams, 25, tries to shield Snipes by throwing his arm around his shoulder just before a man rushes up to them with a wooden chair and cracks it over their heads.
York-Adams falls to the floor and Snipes slumps into a nearby chair, visibly dazed.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the assault as a possible bias attack, a police spokesman said Thursday morning.
The incident began at approximately 11 p.m. when the couple finished up their drinks at the restaurant at 261 Eighth Ave. where they had gone to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Snipes said. The couple had been at XES Lounge earlier that night, but moved to Dallas BBQ in search of their cheap margaritas, Snipes said.”
Portions of the incident had been caught on video. The alleged gay bashing story would run on several popular gay news and gossip outlets. Soon mainstream media outlets picked it up and the incident would serve as inspiration for several anti-hate crimes political actions and naturally anti-Black rants online.
Nearly a month after the altercation occured, the alleged assailant in the incident surrendered to police. He was identified as Bayna-Lehkiem El-Amin and according to the New York Post, the NYPD described him as a career criminal. For his part in the incident, he would be charged with assault and attempted assault.
But in an exclusive interview back in June with the G-List Society, the New York HIV/AIDS counselor and ballroom community leader (yes, he is gay) said that he is the real victim. He also asserted that he had been vilified by the racist, gay media. He also claims New York politicians manipulated mainstream media.
More specifically he told G-List Society:
“I was leaving a charity event that a friend invited me — to a charity that was in support a breast cancer foundation that was downtown on 23rd Street. He and I went to the event. We had a great time. We met some of his colleagues, and some of his family members were there. One his friends that was there with us, we decided to get something to eat because we hadn’t eaten. We decided to go to BBQ’s.”
He also said:
“We were sitting at our table, and there was [initially] no disturbance in the restaurant. All of a sudden, we noticed a disturbance some distance away from us. Two men [Snipes and his companion] were standing over their table fighting each other, and the fight threatened to spill over to the table of ladies that were closest to them. [The ladies] were cringing when they saw the two guys fighting each other [right by them].
So, I said [Snipes and his companion], ‘Hey, guys! There are ladies here.’ I said it in a tone that was authoritative…to get their attention. However, they continued.
Moments later, it appeared that Mr. Snipes was going to leave the restaurant. But, by standing at the door, he directed his attention toward me, walked towards me and said, ‘And YOU calling us ladies!’ And, he struck me. He struck me in the head with an object. I’m not sure what it was, but it felt like a heavy blunt object — and it hurt.
I was shocked. I was confused. I had no idea why I’ve been hit. I didn’t know if I was going to be hit again. I was in pain. I knew that I needed to react quickly because I was afraid that if I didn’t that I would be hit again. Or, someone else at my table would have been hit. So, I immediately went at him. I got up toward him, and that’s where you see the video started.”
El-Amin also adds that he too had sustained injuries in the attack including a contusion on his head which required medical treatment. Likewise:
“I’ve been vilified and demonized by the press. I’ve been forced to leave my home. I have received death threats. I have received harassing messages and e-mails. My family has been harassed. Someone has leaked where I live. My neighbors have been harassed. My neighbors were chased inside of their building.
The police has told my mother that they were going to kick her door in. My mother is 71 years old, and she’s a heart patient. My family members have been humiliated publicly.”
Of course, very few believed him though. Because he is Black. But now there is video proof, which collaborates El-Amin’s side of the story.
In a newly released video, uploaded by G-List Society, you can clearly see Snipes aggressively approaching a seated and calm El-Amin and hitting him across the head with an object.
You can watch the video, which is six-minutes long and shown from multiple angles, below:
Listen, I’m going to keep the commentary short: I love Black people. And it is forever a shame all that we must endure. And it doesn’t matter if you are man, woman or child; Jew or gentile; gay, straight, bisexual, transgender or some other orientation…we will struggle because we are Black.
As such, I hope El-Amin gets justice.
Because Black Lives Matter.