Homeless Coalition Report Calls Beatings An 'Epidemic'
Posted On February 9, 2006
This is one reason why I will never live on the streets in America willingly again. This is a brutal fucking country. We teach our youth that violence is the answer whether it is through bombing countries we don’t agree with, executing our ‘problem’ criminals, or taking over a foreign government we don’t agree with…
If you are homeless, be smart about it. Don’t set yourself up to be a victim.
nbc6.net – News – Homeless Coalition Report Calls Beatings An ‘Epidemic’
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Crimes against the homeless are becoming an epidemic, according to a report released Thursday by the National Coalition for the Homeless.
The coalition came to Fort Lauderdale to release its annual report because of the recent attacks on three homeless men by a group of teenagers. One of the men, Norris Gaynor, died after being severely beaten with a bat.
Three teenagers have been indicted on murder charges in that case. Brian Hooks and Thomas Daugherty, both 18, of Plantation, and William Ammons, 17, of Fort Lauderdale, also face charges of attempted murder in the beatings of two other homeless men.
One of the nonfatal January attacks was recorded by a security surveillance camera and broadcast on television around the world.
According to the coalition’s report, 86 attacks on the homeless were reported nationwide in 2005, including 13 deaths. But the coalition believes the number of attacks is actually much higher because often they are not reported.
Marti Forman, who works with the Cooperative Feeding Program in Fort Lauderdale, said she is frustrated by the treatment of South Florida’s homeless.
“Every day when I see them and I turn them loose to go back to the streets, I’m ashamed that this is the best we can do. We just feed them and shower them and put them back out there to whatever is going to happen,” Forman said. “It’s not right. For a long time I’ve been in this business and I go and I try to get people to listen to me. I can get the church groups to listen and they’ll do food drives and they’ll come volunteer, but when I go to get change to happen I am told that I literally represent garbage and bring garbage into the communities.”
NBC 6’s Ari Odzer reported that many speakers Thursday talked about the need to change society’s attitude toward the homeless. They said the current attitude dehumanizes the homeless and contributes to some people thinking it’s OK to abuse them.
The coalition also said it is working to get homeless beatings categorized as hate crimes.
Homeless Man Attacked In Riviera Beach
A homeless man was in critical condition Thursday after being severely beaten by three suspects at a convenience store pay phone, police said.
Thomas Kotowski, 36, was found bloody and nearly unconscious Tuesday night outside the H&M Discount Beverage Store, Riviera Beach police spokeswoman Rose Anne Brown said. He remained hospitalized.
Authorities were looking for three suspects, described as young men or teenagers. No motive had been established.
Police would not say whether they have surveillance footage or witnesses in the latest attack.