Man in Alabama is walking free after allegedly committing an hate crime.
By now everyone knows about Mallory Owens and the horrible crime that was committed against her on Thanksgiving this year. I was overtaken by such emotion yesterday when I heard about the story, I wasn’t sure how to cover it. I was so sad, and so angry that such a thing could happen to such a lovely girl.
On Thanksgiving, Mallory Owens was invited to enjoy the holiday with her girlfriend and her family. Travis Hawkins Jr. (18) who is the brother of Mallory’s girlfriend, and who has never approved of his sisters lesbian relationship took his opportunity and blindsided Owens, beating her face so severely she was hardly recognizable.
What makes this story even worse, is that Hawkins is out and walking free. He was charged with 2nd degree assault and released on bond. According to Owen’s sister this is not the first time Hawkins assaulted her. Earlier in the year he hit her with a pipe wrench. The family is calling for attempted murder, and a hate crime, but because of Alabama’s backward laws that may not happen.
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said charges could be upgraded at any time. “It’s a horrific crime, and unfortunately because of the laws in the state of Alabama, we can’t charge assault first because for assault first you have to have used a deadly weapon and Alabama courts have said a fist is not a deadly weapon.” Rich also said while her office is investigating the hate crime angle, it would be hard to get the charge because Alabama’s hate crime statute does not cover gay and lesbian victims.
I’m so angry! The LGBT community in Alabama and across the country must rally behind Mallory. We cannot sit idly by, because this can happen again and again in states that do not see equality as a priority.
Equality Alabama Chair Patricia Todd released a statement saying, “Tonight our prayers go to Mallory Owens as she returns home to family. Equality Alabama has called for a full investigation and swift justice for her senseless beating. While the investigation continues one fact is clear: nothing warrants the violence she witnessed. By living her life honestly, Mallory is deserving of no less than the love of family and admiration of peers.”
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