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homelessness | human & civil rights

Killing Homeless For Sport

Gangs use killing homeless as part of initiation process. It is well know no one reports missing and dead homeless people. When homeless are attacked PPB officiers often refuse to take police reports. they justify this by claiming homelesss don't show up in court. Descriminating practices based on income, class, and race are common place in most U.S. law enforcement agencies. Barriers also exist when trying to verify numbers of dead homeless people. Coraners office refuses to releases information and this adds to the barriers Identifing the scale of the problem.
Police say they will seek murder charges against the attackers who beat a homeless man to death and are suspected in two similar attacks a few hours later.

The first attack was caught on a university surveillance video before dawn Thursday, prompting a police search for two to four young men. The crime, though unusual for being captured on videotape, is remarkably common, advocates for the homeless say.

Norris Gaynor, 45, was attacked later as he slept near the Broward Center for Performing Arts and died from his injuries at a hospital Thursday, police said. The other victims, both hospitalized in serious condition, have not been identified.

The video from Florida Atlantic University shows two men chasing and beating a man who had been sleeping on a bench. "It looked like they were going for the head," Detective Katherine Collins said.

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reported that as the two teens ran off, headlights from a car or truck could be seen shining westward on the scene on Las Olas Boulevard. Authorities said Thursday they were looking for a white van with no markings.

The 58-year-old man found a security guard, who called for help, and the victim was hospitalized with head trauma and defensive fractures, authorities said.

Gaynor was beaten about 90 minutes later in a chillingly similar attack. He had been sleeping on a secluded park bench near the performing arts center, police said.


Another 90 minutes after that, a third homeless man flagged down a fire crew passing a church and said he had been attacked while he slept.

"It's senseless. If you look at these kids, it was almost like it was fun and games for them," police Officer Scott Russell said.

NBC reported that the Salvation Army was opening an emergency shelters for the homeless in Fort Lauderdale, something the group usually does only on extremely cold nights.

Four teenagers pleaded guilty last month to fatally beating a 53-year-old homeless man in Daytona Beach in May. They await sentencing next month. A fifth teen still faces an aggravated battery charge and is free on bail.

What made Friday's crime unusual, advocates for the homeless said, wasn't that it was committed, but that it was captured on videotape.

'Tip of the iceberg'
The nonprofit National Coalition for the Homeless says that there were more than 398 acts of violence against homeless people in the last six years, of which about 156 resulted in death. These statistics do not include reports of sexual assault against homeless women.

"We think it's the tip of the iceberg," said Michael O'Neill, coordinator of the coalition's Homeless Speakers Series, designed to educate people on the causes of homelessness.

In a report on hate crimes against the homeless published in mid-2005, the organization said it believes many cases go unreported or unpublicized because many homeless people are mentally ill or addicts, fear retaliation or are frustrated with the police. As a result, the report says, it is difficult to assess the true magnitude of the problem.

O'Neill told MSNBC.com there was an escalation in violence against homeless people after two young men produced a series of movies, starting with "Bum Fights" in 2001 in which they filmed homeless people they had persuaded to do humiliating and dangerous things in exchange for drugs, small change or food. The video producers at first faced seven felony counts and four misdemeanor charges in connection with production of the videos, but ultimately were sentenced to 250 hours of community service.

"There's been a lot of copycat crimes," O'Neill said.

In an interview with the Sun-Sentinel, a Fort Lauderdale advocate for the homeless said beating homeless people is quite common in the area.

"It's one of the shameful secrets we have, the beating of homeless for sport," said Marti Forman, CEO of the Cooperative Feeding Program, told the newspaper. "It's a recreation thing, it's an initiation for gangs and fraternities."

She said she hoped the fact that the brutality was videotaped would generate outrage.

... 13.Jan.2006 17:08

this thing here

psychopaths. cowards. to these creeps, the homeless people weren't human beings, they were objects, made of plastic.

what is it about male human beings. we attack those weaker than us, in order to feel stronger. but what does that really say about how strong we are? we didn't attack something stronger than us, something that would require genuine courage and strength. we attacked something weaker. because WE are the ones who are weak, cowardly, and fucked up inside...

Numbers are low 13.Jan.2006 18:52

Mother of Sam

I work with the chronically un-housed in Eugene. As of now, I have about 200 people who have told me their life story, and talked with me about their experiences on the street, since I started this job 18 months ago. The violence against them is systemic: beatings by cops, frat boys, drug dealers, etc. The women often choose one violent partner over a group of violent partners, suffering extreme violence from one person who will at least scare other potential abusers away.

Many of them have learning disabilities that were never addressed by the educational system, and were abused by their parents, and then their foster parents, and then youth corrections facilities like McLaren, and then by hospitals, jails, and cops. Some were raped in mental wards courtesy of the state of Oregon. Many have suffered repeat head injuries and have significant cognitive disabilities that make them more vulnerable to attack. Many were born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, which left them trusting and easily manipulated, children in adult bodies.

When I think about how many people had to collectively turn their backs, take out their personal shit on my clients, and turn a blind eye to out-and-out abuse, I fucking hate society. All of it. Except my clients. Who don't have anything, and are still (generally speaking) the most warm-hearted and generous people I have ever been fortunate enough to meet.

language 13.Jan.2006 19:16

homeless guy

"Homeless" is an adjective. Using it as a noun -- as in "the homeless" and especially as in "homeless" by itself as if we were an undifferentiated substance like "wood" or "gravel" -- is insulting and dehumanizing. I don't fault the author of this fine original presentation of public information, but Marti Forman in particular ought to know better.

> "It's one of the shameful secrets we have, the beating of homeless for sport,"
> said Marti Forman, CEO of the Cooperative Feeding Program, told the newspaper.

some guys do get off on getting beat up 13.Jan.2006 19:20

but not these guys

> we didn't attack something stronger than us, something
> that would require genuine courage and strength

By definition something stronger than you will defeat you.

Re: numbers low 14.Jan.2006 08:04

ne1

Mother of Sam: Thank Goddess for people like you!

... 14.Jan.2006 08:36

this thing here

>By definition something stronger than you will defeat you.<

indeed. but intentionally fighting and "winning" against what one KNOWS is weaker isn't a sign of power, but rather of cowardliness. whereas, to fight and lose against what one may or may not know is the stronger is not neccessarily a sign of weakness.

but i forget. this is america. and our one true god, our American God Above All Other Gods, the ultimate sign of success, is to "win" and become wealthy, regardless of any other consideration in existence....

Millionaire 'thug' beat homeless 14.Jan.2006 10:41

Burro

The outrage will continue to build as more of these stories are make public:

From the BBC - Jan. 14, 2006

A "thug" and "bully" who police said preyed on vulnerable people for fun is starting a five and a half year jail sentence. John Damon Gizzi, a millionaire builder from St Asaph, was caught for one attack after a listening device was installed in his Bentley.

Gizzi, 34, previously admitted two charges of grievous bodily harm and one of actual bodily harm. He beat up two homeless men with wooden staves, Chester Crown Court heard. He also admitted conspiracy to sell contraband cigarettes and customs and excise tax evasion worth up to £750,000.

Twenty two offences of mortgage fraud totalling £1.4m were also taken into consideration.

Appearing at Chester Crown Court last week, co-accused Dennis Fontenot, 32, from Liverpool, also pleaded guilty to causing grevious bodily harm with intent and conspiracy to sell counterfeit cigarettes. On Friday, he was sentenced to 18 months.

Simon Medland, prosecuting, told of an assault on a homeless man, at a boarded up cafe, owned by Gizzi, in Rhyl. He said: "It was fairly well known that people from the streets would use the shelter for warmth".

On 23 March last year, Leslie Owen, was sleeping in the café when he was woken by Gizzi. "He recalls being woken up by what he describes as a blow to his head," said Mr Medland. "He could see that Mr Gizzi had a weapon. Mr Gizzi was under no conceivable threat from Mr Owen. The assault went on for quite a while."

'Important conviction'

Police during their investigation found the blood of another homeless man, who they discovered had been attacked by Gizzi two years before.

Gizzi and Fontenot also admitted assaulting a third man in November 2004, who claimed he had been attacked with a baseball bat.

This case was discovered after police listened into telephone conversations Gizzi made in his Bentley. The court heard a listening device had been fitted during a surveillance operation.

Both Gizzi and Fontenot were regarded as bullies, who felt they were above the law and almost untouchable.

Judge Elgan Edwards, recorder of Chester, took into account their guilty pleas, but said: "This kind of conduct, in your case Gizzi using violence towards people who may be a nuisance, is quite unacceptable.

"You should be making your livelihood not from crime, you have the intelligence to do it".

Lawyers representing the two men said their guilty pleas had saved a great deal of public money and they raised concern about the attention the case was attracting.

But Judge Edwards said: "I want to make it abundantly clear that Mr. Gizzi and Mr. Fontenot will be sentenced on the basis of what they pleaded guilty to and not tittle tattle and rumour".

Gizzi's barrister Duncan Bould said his parents and fiancee were standing by him. Fontenot's barrister Gerry Baxter said his client was "very much the junior player, hired hand and acted as a courier".

Detective Superintendent Chris Corcoran after the case said: "[He's] Gizzi's lieutenant, another bully, a thug".

Gizzi lived in a £1.75m mansion in St Asaph and drove a £100,000 Bentley car. He was brought to justice after police mounted a surveillance operation around nine months ago.

Supt Barry Jones, said: "Both Gizzi and Fontenot were regarded as bullies, who felt they were above the law and almost untouchable.

"As they serve their prison sentences the clear message is no-one is untouchable, especially in north Wales. He added: "This has been a very, very important conviction."

 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/4605636.stm

COWARDS 20.May.2008 23:17

ANGIE angiekat07@yahoo.com

savage barbaric cowards, a real man does not need to feel he has to hurt anyone to be strong. growing up they were probably in trouble often at school and the parents never participated in their lives in a possitive way. if the children turn out to be in gangs, imagin the parents what kind of people they are also. you be nice to your kids and show them you love them no matter what and they wont turn out to be monsters. parents should be held reasponsibe for their childrens actions always. why doesnt someone make a bill to pass something like that. i was a single mom of two at seventeen, i ran from a savage man, and hey, guess what i raised two girls who dont drink and do drugs. they even took in their two half siblings, because they are now working and successful even in their early twenties. my children had me along every step of the way, tucked them in at night tell them you love them and dont do anything you dont want your kids to do. comes down to you weep what you soe. it is really a sad day in this country when our kids are killing the weak and powerless. if you think about it some of us are crying when kids kill, but guess what, parents like me trust the school system here and it is failing our children. we dont have good teachers and they certainly get paid well. as much as they bitch about it, they get a good decient salary. instead of complaining so much they need to teach and give respect to our kids and put a stop to bulling,because thats why kids join gangs for love missing at home and hurting so much at school and teachers, principles, school districts, dont protect these kids, then your shocked like a bunch of idiots when our kids take guns to school after they are already so traumatized you ask why! well thats why. your country is so hipicrit your are showing these kids its ok to kill little ones, we are doing it in iraq, its so obvious who invaded who, does american goverment think these our children are stupid, well the goverment is teaching them to kill, so dont cry if your child kills, bush is teaching them to kill and the education you are giving to brain wash these kids to kill and its ok to invade other countries and women and their children. oh by the way dont forget how we proudly stoled this country, if you are proud to be in american you really are stupid, and very confused about your heritage, or you are a real cruel caluos bitch that does not know your history. i home school my child thats left and i put him iteach him french/sp/it, so one day we could have a lot of choices to get the hell out of this country.