By Crescenzo Vellucci
Vanguard Sacramento Bureau
SACRAMENTO – Two Sacramento men – including one who was badly beaten – sent a letter reporting the “hate crimes” to the Sacramento City Police Dept. and the FBI this week, complaining that SPD officers ignored their requests to arrest their attackers after the assault and battery in Midtown Sacramento earlier this month.
In fact, in the letter to FBI special agent Jonathan Snow and SPD Capt. Norm Leong, victims Brian David Morton and Miguel Torres said that officers arriving at the scene “consistently shooed off” the two victims, didn’t take complete statements from them and were more concerned about some property damage to a car.
The letter was copied to Mayor Darrell Steinberg, City Councilman Steve Hansen, SPD Police Chief Daniel Hahn, the U.S. Attorney’s Office/ Hate Crimes Task Force and the National Lawyers Guild Sacramento Chapter. It was made exclusively available to the Vanguard.
The SPD activity log, the letter states, didn’t mention any arrest for assault and battery. Attempts by Morton and Torres to make a supplemental police report online were rejected by the system.
In their notarized statement, Morton and Torres said the attack took place Oct. 4 at about 11:45 p.m. in front of Shandam Consulting Inc., 1321 20th St.
They said they were accosted by three males, accompanied by a female, as they left the Lavender Heights area on foot in Midtown.
According to the statement, “The group, (which) appeared very intoxicated…surrounded” Torres and Morton, when one male in the group said: “You guys are fucking faggots, aren’t you?!”
Torres was then grabbed by his collar by “Male 2” who said: “Give me your money you fucking faggot!” Torres was then repeatedly hit and kicked, while Morton moved away and starting yelling for help, said the victims.
Eventually, both escaped and called 911 and reported their assault and battery.
After the situation “escalated” – the victims said they later learned the same group had attacked others with a tree branch or similar weapon and “smashed” a car – SPD units began to arrive.
But Morton and Torres said that’s when they were ignored as victims and witnesses.
They said when they attempted to identify their assailants and give statements “with the intention of pressing charges,” they were “shooed away (and) felt like their assault was dismissed by officers (who) were more concerned by the damage to the vehicle than the physical assault on them.”
Morton and Torres said they tried to identify individuals who attacked them to SPD officers, who continued to ignore them. Morton and Torres told officers they were “victims of a hate crime and wanted to press charges,” but officers refused to take their statement or even ask for their identification. One officer did take pictures of Torres’s injuries to his face.
Morton and Torres said in the letter they would like to file charges against the three assailants under the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Conspiracy Against Rights and Interference with the Civil Rights of a Protected Class, as well as state crimes, including assault, battery and false imprisonment.