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MW: When you first hear about the march?
V: I think it was either the day before I was released, or one more day before that. I was amazed. It was very reassuring, and it made me glad to be part of the community I belong to. I was just amazed by the support of my friends, because it was some very close friends who organized that march.
MW: When we talk about hate crimes, or crimes with bias enhancements, do you think the Metropolitan Police Department has been doing a good job?
V: Before this, I always thought there was sort of a blind eye turned towards it. Hopefully, that’s not the case, because I have been working with a detective. There’s not much for them to work with, but I feel like they’ve been investing a good deal of energy and time with me, and trying to get this taken care of.
MW: Why do you think there would be hostility, or why do you think you would be singled out in this neighborhood?
V: Because this neighborhood is still, for lack of a better word, gentrifying, I guess. So I think that would be one of the reasons I would stand out, because I’m new to the neighborhood.
MW: Has there been hostility expressed by anyone in the neighborhood, older residents?
MW: If they were to find the people who attacked you, would you be willing to testify? Would you be scared to testify?
V: The only problem I have is I don’t visually remember the people, so it would be hard for me to testify.
MW: (To Partner) What’s your take on this? Seeing your partner hurt, then seeing the outpouring of support, yet also having this frustration because there aren’t a lot of facts for the police to go on?
P: It’s not frustrating with the police, but just frustrating in general that there’s not a lot of information to go on. As we were saying before, there were so many people around, I feel like there’s definitely someone, or several people, who saw what happened, and just haven’t come forward.
MW: Why do you think people would not want to come forward?
P: Just fear, I assume. Or some of them don’t care. I don’t know. I can’t speculate on that.
We assume the criminals are someone who hangs out in the neighborhood, or who is here often, so perhaps people don’t want to say anything because of that.
MW: Do you think there’s an underlying racial animus?
V: Not really.
MW: If you could do something differently, what would you do?
V: I would have taken the cab all the way home.
MW: What’s your advice to other people, to avoid this?
P: We’re generally pretty cognizant of what’s going on around us, so that’s certainly some advice I would give anybody. But, you know, it was 9 o’clock on a Monday night. Typically, we haven’t had any problems, or had any fear, at that time of day or week. You know, we go to the grocery store and walk back at that time of night. So I’m surprised. 2 o’clock in the morning you might expect something like that to happen, but…
MW: What’s your take on the other people in the neighborhood? Have they reached out to you since the march?
P: Yeah, we know some of the neighbors who have called and sent cards, and the neighborhood sort of ”crew” sent some flowers as well. They’ve been very supportive.