Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Ex Con gets 25 for Gay Bashing, NYC

A Brooklyn ex-con who viciously beat a gay man into a coma over a flirtatious comment was given the maximum sentence allowed for the hate crime.
"Hallelujah," victim Dwan Prince, 28, said yesterday after Supreme Court Justice Deborah Dowling sentenced Steven Pomie, 23, to two concurrent 25-year terms.

"My heart hurts. There is pain because I don't know what happened to me."

Prince, a former construction worker and fitness buff, was beaten so severely by Pomie and two others in front of his Brownsville building last summer that his left side is paralyzed and he has lost all memory of the attack.

"I was 27 years old, I was doing great, I had two jobs," he said in a slurred voice in court yesterday, before asking his mother, Valerie Prinez, to continue for him.

"Pomie beat down my son, he attempted to kill my son," Prinez said. "He took away my son's memory, he took away my son's brain ... his limbs. But he can't take away my son's soul."

Prosecutors say Pomie was strolling by Prince's home last June 8, wearing his girlfriend's pink tanktop, when he caught the victim's stare.

Pomie allegedly asked Prince, "What the f--- are you looking at?"

In a bias beating that shocked the city, Pomie, an alleged Crips member, pummeled Prince because his response enraged him.

Two other attackers were involved, but witnesses saw Pomie give a final, vicious blow to Prince's head that doctors said left his skull etched with scars. He remained in a coma for some time.

Just before Dowling imposed the sentence - 25 years for assault and 25 for assault as a hate crime - Prince used his one good hand to try to pass tissues to a sobbing Pomie.

"I did not commit these crimes. The person who did it is on the street," Pomie said, starting to cry. "What happened to Dwan was bad. I didn't have nothing to do with it. I'm sorry."

But Dowling would have none of it, marveling at "the amount of rage and horror from hands and feet" to cause such injuries.

Afterward, Prinez appealed to the public to get a motorized wheelchair and medications for her son, who limps and uses a cane as a result of the attack.

Pomie's lawyer vowed to appeal. Prosecutor Tom Ridges said police were still looking for the other attackers.


Monday, April 24, 2006

Murder in Cruising Park, Brooklyn New York



Cops were hunting yesterday for a cold-blooded killer who stabbed a 61-year-old man to death in Prospect Park - rocking the Brooklyn oasis.
William Oliver was knifed once in the chest and may have been robbed Saturday afternoon in a section of the park that's known as a gay pickup spot, cops said.

"I still have trouble getting over his death," said Wilson Oliver, 67, the slain man's brother.

The attack raised fears that the so-called ninja who prowled the same area of the park more than five years ago, preying on gay men, had returned. Cops said they did not believe the slaying was related to the ninja attacks.

William Oliver, a bachelor who bounced around between relatives' houses, had called his brother at 3:11 p.m. Saturday to say he was on his way to his house in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

But he never made it.

Two parkgoers stumbled onto his bloody body on a path in the lush Vale of Cashmere area of the park about an hour later. "Everything was fine, he was going to come by," said Oliver's brother. "He said, 'See you later.'"

Cops said they found William Oliver's wallet nearby and found some cash in his pockets.

The murder weapon was not recovered. Investigators were searching a nearby man-made pond for clues.

Relatives said Oliver kept to himself and never talked about his sexual preference, although his brother said it was "a good possibility" he was gay. "He was a good person, a kind person," said Willa Oliver, his sister-in-law. "If he could do something to help you, he did it."

The secluded Vale of Cashmere and the nearby Rose Garden are popular hangouts for gay men near Grand Army Plaza.

In 2000, a man dressed in a black ninja outfit stabbed, clubbed or slashed at least four gay men during a two-week crime spree. Another man was stabbed on Jan. 17, 2001, by a man dressed in black.

Oliver's murder was even more worrisome because it came in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, when the park was fairly crowded, even on a rainy day. "It's spooky," said William Davis, 42, sitting in the Rose Garden. "It's really scary because it's daytime."

Even though police said the killing wasn't linked to the ninja attacks, just the mention of the spree was enough to frighten one man, who said he once came face-to-face with the black-clad attacker.

"I hope they catch him," said a 48-year-old man who didn't want his name used because his family doesn't know he is gay. "I won't be coming over here by myself."

William Oliver in an undated photo.

Brothas b careful!!

Originally published on April 24, 2006

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Rashawn Brazell Memorial (Birthday) March, Brooklyn New York April 15, 2006

No music on this one. Just click "PLAY" below to view the images.

Happy Birthday Rashawn.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Evolution of Standard Ball, Club Spirit NYC, 2006

Here's a small sample of a couple of (early) categories from POCC's (People of Color in Crisis.) much aniticpated Evolution of Standard Ball held at Club Spirit in New York City. I would have had full coverage of the 8-plus hour ball to present here to you, but since POCC didn't hire me to shoot this event (!), I was there purely as a spectator (and artist, of course!), and photographed only two hours. Nevertheless, I managed to get some cool shots (some of which I haven't even edited yet) to present here today. Club Spirit was filled to capacity and the kids came ready to BATTLE for Grand Prize! By the time I left the Ball (after two hours), there were still SEVEN categories to go! I heard the Ball didn't end till sometime after 10pm (it started somewhere around 2pm), at which point I was in the Greenwhich Village having dinner with my boo and some friends. Weatherwise, it was the nicest day of the year here in NYC, and being OUT that day was truely FIERCE for all of us "children". :-)

Balls are always wonderful events for me to photograph. My personal favorites are the bizarre and performance categories. I get so much inspiration from the "children". It warms my heart and gives me hope that there's a community outlet for youth, who without "family" might otherwise be lost. Photograhing Balls allows me to expand my ongoing personal photo project of documenting WHO WE ARE and HOW WE LOVE as a community. This is my attempt to show the world a mutifaceted Black Gay Community full of PRIDE and SPIRIT. The Ball Scene is ours. We should own it and nurture it. I'm happy to see POCC set up for HIV testing at the Ball. By the looks of it, a lot of kids got tested. The Balls are a GREAT outreach tool! KUDOS to POCC!

So go ahead and adjust your computer volume, Click PLAY and enjoy the show! Leave comments and pop by my blog again and often!

Peace & Light,