In Toronto, police doubt murder of gay male was homophobic
A case last week in Toronto, CA, in which a gay male was run over by an SUV, is not being viewed as a hate crime by police, although some of the man's family and friends certainly believe it must have been.
It has been said that as it was 3 am, and he was looking for a cab, his gestures may possibly have been mistaken for prostitution solicitation.
Footage was caught of Skinner at 3 am and of the vehicle which assaulted him:
A gay man was knocked to the ground and run over by SUV-driving assailants in Toronto; he later died in the hospital.
An Oct. 19 article at Xtra.com(updated on Oct. 20) said that Chris Skinner, 27, had a confrontation with several men in downtown Toronto after having been out with his fiancé, Ryan Cook, and Cook’s sister.
Skinner had become separated from Cook when he encountered the men around 3 a.m. on Oct. 18.
Hours later, after having posted a Facebook message asking whether anyone know of Skinner’s whereabouts, Cook learned of his life partner’s death.
The assailants evidently steered their vehicle deliberately over Skinner after having knocked him down. The vehicle, described as a black SUV, then sped away.
The article said that several people witnessed the attack and the vehicular assault. There was no clear-cut evidence to peg the killing as a hate crime.
"No, there’s not at all any indication that there were homophobic elements to the attack," the article quoted Detective Stacey Gallant as saying.
But the ferocity of the assault is consistent with the "overkill" that is often part of anti-gay bias crimes. Moreover, the article noted, those who knew Skinner expressed doubts that he would have started anything--but they did think he would have stood his ground if challenged.
"Not a single person who knows him would say that he would cause a ruckus, but he would stand up for himself if he was called on anything," Craig Lund, a friend of Skinner’s, was quoted as saying. Lund also expressed skepticism with respect to the local authorities, saying, "I find that Toronto Police very rarely jump to the conclusion that homophobia exists."