After the shocking murder of a gay man in Greenwich Village over the weekend, hundreds of people gathered to mourn his death and protest a recent spate of hate crimes. The aunt of victim Mark Carson attended and said, "The family would like to have justice be served, so that Mark’s death is not in vain."
One of his friends was shocked that Carson, a 32-year-old who had just moved from Harlem to Brooklyn, could be killed in the Village. Dahlimu Robinson told the Daily News, “He grew up in the project. If you can survive there and be murdered here, in a safe place, in this safe haven, what does that say?”
Police arrested Elliot Morales for shooting Carson in the head on West 8th Street and Sixth Avenue. He was charged with murder as a hate crime, as he was yelling anti-gay epithets at Carson and his friend. However, Morales's family claims, the Post reports, that he was "blitzed on ecstasy and booze that night and had no memory of the savage attack." Morales' bisexual sister said, "It’s a lie to say he hates people. We’re not a prejudiced family. We have African-Americans, Dominicans, gays and Mexicans in our family."
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who was at the rally, requested that the NYPD increase its presence in the areas where hate crimes have occurred recently (like the Madison Square Garden area, where two attacks have occurred). The NYPD agreed and according to Quinn's office, "These deployments will continue at least through the end of June and the culmination of LGBT Pride Month."
Additionally, Quinn and Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott announced that schools will address hate crimes at assemblies and programs before the end of the school year. Quinn and the NYC Anti-Violence Project are starting Friday Night Community Safety Night Out this Friday, May 24 and every Friday through June.