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Mayor beefs up reward for information on gay beating suspects | News

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Mayor beefs up reward for information on gay beating suspects
News

ATLANTA (WXIA) -- Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has stepped in and boosted the reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of those responsible for the high-publicized attack on 20-year-old Brandon White, a gay man.

White, the victim of a violent Atlanta gang beating that was videotaped and uploaded to the Internet spoke at a midday news conference last Wednesday. 

In the news conference, victim Brandon White spoke, along with Atlanta area gay activists and leaders from the Pittsburgh community. All of them soundly condemned the attack, along with the ongoing gang activity in that area.

Activist Devin Barrington-Ward said he was working together with leaders from the Pittsburgh community to "adopt" the community and to work to get rid of the gang violence that he said has plagued that community.

White said that he had packed belongings and left the area after the attack, and that he was afraid of returning there.

Barrington-Ward announced a rally at the grocery store where the attack took place on Saturday.

Brandon White was attacked outside the JVC Grocery and Deli at the corner of Delevan and McDaniel streets in the Pittsburgh community on Atlanta's south side Saturday afternoon, and video of the attack was uploaded to WorldStarHipHop.com, a website that has become notorious for its posting of violent videos online. 11Alive warns viewers the link to WorldStarHipHop.com includes violent video and crude and homophobic content, which 11Alive does not condone.

PHOTOS | Violent video posted online

After its initial posting, footage from the video went viral, surfacing on YouTube, The Smoking GunThe Drudge Report and other news and video sites on the web.

The video depicts the attack as White left the store. At least three men punch and kick the victim. One person tosses a tire onto the victim. As he is beaten, an onlooker yells "no more f****** in Jack City," repeatedly, which, according to multiple sources including The Smoking Gun, is an apparent reference to a local gang.

Two other views of the attack have come from store surveillance video, which show that at least one of the attackers apparently waited for White to emerge from the store. 11Alive News decided not to air the original video of the attack due to the glorified violence depicted as well as the crude, homophobic language present. We have posted stills from the original attack video online. 11Alive News made the decision to air the surveillance video, with the hope that it may help authorities apprehend the suspected attackers.

White has spoken with Atlanta police and federal investigators looking into the attack.

Barrington-Ward says this is strong evidence why they want a new Georgia hate crime law.

"There were gay slurs thrown toward him. There were punches. There were kicks," he said. "These young men committed a hate crime. There shouldn't be a debate about that."

US Attorney Sally Yates said Monday, a priority of her office is the elimination of violent gang activity. Her office is looking into whether the attack violated federal law, including the federal hate crime statute.

Anyone who has any information to call Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477. Callers can remain anonymous.

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