Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Lambda Legal joins federal lawsuit after antigay attack at Rikers Island
From a press release
2015-10-29

This article shared 3635 times since Thu Oct 29, 2015
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


( New York, October 29, 2015 ) —Lambda Legal has filed an amended complaint in a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of Thomas Hamm against the City of New York and New York City Department of Correction ( DOC ) officers and supervisors after a brutal attack on Mr. Hamm while he visited his partner, P.F., at a men's facility on Rikers Island.

"Something is terribly wrong when rampant abuse and discrimination are the hallmarks of our criminal justice system. Law enforcement and corrections officers cannot disregard the rights of those they encounter, nor can they flagrantly abuse their position. Prison officers are not above the law, and people do not forfeit their right not to be brutally attacked when they pass through the gates of a prison, no matter if they are incarcerated or visiting, or LGBT or not. The City of New York and the Department of Correction are responsible for making sure that prisons are safe, that the rights of those incarcerated are being protected, and that their families can visit them without fear," said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal. "The abuse and discrimination by the Rikers corrections officers is just the latest manifestation of a generations' old culture of violence by Department of Correction officials especially targeting incarcerated LGBT people—most of whom are Black and Latino—and their families for humiliation and harassment. There are thousands of incarcerated members of the LGBT community who are vulnerable to systemic, pervasive harassment and violence. Prison officials don't get to harass and discriminate against people just because they don't like who they are."

On May 9, 2014, Thomas Hamm, a gay man, went to visit his long-time partner, P.F., at a DOC correctional facility on Rikers Island, where P.F. was serving a sentence. When Mr. Hamm greeted P.F. with a hug and a kiss, they were ordered by corrections officers to stop embracing, even though other visitors around them were allowed to embrace. The DOC Directive on Inmate Visit Procedures states that "inmates and visitors are permitted to kiss, embrace and hold hands." The harassment continued when Mr. Hamm and P.F. held hands on the table, like many others around them, as they were speaking. Corrections officers called Mr. Hamm and P.F. "faggots" and ordered them to stop holding hands, then -abruptly ended the visit.

As Mr. Hamm was preparing to leave the facility, one of the corrections officers who had been harassing the couple said to Mr. Hamm, in sum and substance, "Fucking homosexual, who the fuck do you think you are?" and "You'll burn in hell." As Mr. Hamm tried to go, the corrections officers grabbed him and viciously beat him, repeatedly punching and kicking him. As his head bled profusely, Mr. Hamm begged the officers to stop. Finally, Mr. Hamm was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where he was shackled to his bed overnight and diagnosed with facial fractures and head trauma. After his discharge from the hospital, corrections officers took Mr. Hamm back to Rikers, where he was given an order banning him from visiting the facility for 180 days. Consistent with the notorious violence and cover-ups by corrections officers and officials at Rikers, the perpetrators claimed that the 5'6" Mr. Hamm had tried to strike an officer, and omitted reporting the violence against him. Adding further insult to brutal injury, Mr. Hamm was falsely charged with assault in the third degree and harassment in the second degree. The charges were adjourned in contemplation of dismissal.

"Rikers Island is known for its terrible abuses of people in DOC custody," said David B. Rankin, a partner at Rankin & Taylor PLLC and Lambda Legal's co-counsel in the case. "It is a shame Mr. Hamm was not even safe as a visitor. It is our hope that this lawsuit will make it impossible for this kind of discrimination and brutality to continue."

"I went to Rikers to visit my loved one, and left beaten, my face shattered, in shackles, and charged with a crime I did not commit. The corrections officers' anti-gay hate crime against me was covered up. Something is very rotten at Rikers; no one else should have to suffer the abuses that the City has allowed to run rampant," Mr. Hamm said.

The lawsuit asserts that the City of New York and its Department of Correction officers violated the U.S. Constitution's First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments, as well as the Constitution and laws of New York, including the New York Human Rights Law, by singling out the couple with discriminatory treatment at the visitor's center and the subsequent violent attack that left Mr. Hamm severely injured.

Read the complaint: www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/hamm_ny_20151028_complaint .

Hamm v. City of New York, et al.

Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, Staff Attorney, and Susan Sommer, Director of Constitutional Litigation, are handling the case for Lambda Legal. Co-counsel in this case is David B. Rankin and Robert M. Quackenbush of Rankin & Taylor, PLLC.


This article shared 3635 times since Thu Oct 29, 2015
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Stephen Amell, 'Outlander' star to be at Wizard World Chicago
2021-09-17
Stephen Amell, known to millions as the crime-fighting vigilante lead in the hit TV series Arrow, will return to Wizard World Chicago on Saturday, Oct. 16. Amell—who also starred in DC Universe vehicles such as DC's ...


Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
2021-09-16
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
2021-09-14
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29
2021-09-11
Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...


Gay News

Chicago neighborhood nonprofits join forces to provide free attorneys
2021-09-07
Four Chicago neighborhood nonprofits—LCLC (Lawndale Christian Legal Center), Breakthrough, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) and New Life Centers—have formed a partnership to assign free ...


Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year
2021-09-07
LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...


Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby
2021-09-07
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...


Gay News

Afghan LGBTQs in peril, with little help in sight
2021-09-06
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of LGBT Afghan citizens, who dared to take modest steps toward living openly when their country was under the occupation and influence of a more tolerant "western culture," are now literally hiding in ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bill, lawsuits, Billy Porter, 'Southern LGBTQ Experiences'
2021-09-05
The California legislature okayed a bill that would launch a pilot program to better track the gender identity and sexual orientation of victims of fatal violence, Gay City News noted. Under AB 1094, or the Sexual ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-TGNC vote, #VeryGayRaptor, Brazilian governor, Scottish poll
2021-09-05
In Australia, the government voted down workplace protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people, OutInPerth.com reported. The senate was considering the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment ...


Gay News

Pappas reintroduces expanded SERVE Act to guarantee LGBTQ+ veterans VA benefits
2021-09-04
--From a press release - Washington, D.C. - Today, Congressman Chris Pappas (NH-01), member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Co-Chair of the Equality Caucus, alongside Reps. Mike Levin (CA-49), Kathleen M. Rice (NY-04) ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.