September 22, 2011

Group wants feds to investigate an alleged hate crime

HARLAN DAILY ENTERPRISE
By: ANDERS ELD

The Kentucky Equality Federation, an advocacy group for equal treatment of all citizens, has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate another alleged hate crime in Harlan County. The alleged incident occurred in April. It has been alleged, in previous reports, that two men and two women took Kevin Pennington to Kingdom Come State Park, and there, they severely beat him. The four was indicted the following month. Both Anthony Jenkins and David Jenkins have been charged with attempted murder. The two women, Mable and Alexis Jenkins, have been charged with complicity to attempted murder.

In a press release, the Federation described the incident as “an unprovoked attack on a gay man” that was motivated by hate or intolerance toward sexual minorities. The group has forwarded a report of the alleged hate crime to U.S. Department of Justice, and it also renewed its request that the Department intervene under newly federal hate crimes legislation.

Last month, the federation issued a hate crime complaint to the Department of Justice, following an alleged hate crime incident in Pathfork involving two women that allegedly were attacked by several men during a Fourth of July celebration. In that filing, the federation said “because judges as well as the county and Commonwealth Attorney are elected to office, [they] must keep the bulk of the population happy with their service to the Commonwealth or they risk not being re-elected to office and taking a stand to protect victims of hate crimes, especially members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex community is politically dangerous to them, thus, justice rarely prevails.” The federation therefore requested that the justice department move this and other hate crime cases in the area to federal court where neither prosecutors nor judges are elected to office.

“We will continue to monitor the conduct of everyone involved and will report any indifference to enforce the laws of this Commonwealth both to the Justice Department as well as the Judicial Conduct Commission,” said federation president Jordan Palmer, in a statement.

Read more: The Harlan Daily Enterprise - Group wants feds to investigate an alleged hate crime

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