Brandon White, 20, was apparently targeted because of his clothing and a group of men assaulted him without provocation, yelling gay slurs throughout the attack.
White bravely came forward to address the beating he suffered, which became a viral video after being recorded by the gang of thugs.
“I don’t bother anyone. I felt that if a straight person could walk to the store and not have a problem, I should be able to do the same thing.”
White initially planned to keep silent about the attack but decided to speak out after video of the attack went viral, explaining he doesn’t want his attackers to get the last word. [*Amen!*]
Details + video of White’s press conference below…
The courageous 20 year old victim spoke this afternoon at a 1 p.m. news conference, where he called for justice.
“In my opinion, I’m the brave one,” he said.
White said he has been coping with the help of his family members and his therapist.
“The scars run deeper than anyone will know,” White said.
He encouraged other people who have gone through similar situations to speak out.
“Say something. Speak to someone. Don’t hide it. You shouldn’t have to. This is 2012.” White said.
White and other residents of the Pittsburgh neighborhood say that the area surrounding the store on McDaniel Street is a known haven for crime.
They are now calling for action. Earlier in the day, a group of residents gathered at a church across the street, calling for the store to close.
“I want to see something done. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I went through,” White said.
WSBTV obtained the surveillance video from the store, which shows White walking inside the JVC Grocery and Deli, accompanied by another man in an orange shirt. When they exited the store, White was attacked by members of the Pittsburgh Jack City Gang on Saturday.
The FBI is investigating and may pursue the case as a federal hate crime because the men in the video are repeatedly shouting gay slurs at White.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has also announced that there is a $5,000 reward for anyone who aids in the arrests of the men involved.
If you have information about the incident, contact Atlanta’s Zone 3 police dept. at 404-624-0674 or call anonymously to Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.
Bravo Brandon White! One thing I know for sure my friend is that you coming forward shows your strength in a tough situation. I applaud your courage and pray that you recover physically and mentally from this senseless attack.