MPD Chief says recent hate crimes may have been motivated by same-sex marriage debate

In a recent interview with WTOP, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier speculated that the of recent hate crimes in Georgetown may have been motivated by the ongoing debate over same-sex marriage.

Lanier, who recently told WTOP that MPD is classifying the assaults as hate crimes, was asked on WTOP’s Ask the Chief Program whether it was possible that the issue of same-sex marriage could have sparked the attack.  She responded:

“Whenever there’s an issue that’s getting a lot of attention, there may be something that’s sparking these assaults. Certainly that’s something we are looking at.”

WTOP notes that there have been 31 hate crimes based on sexual orientation in D.C. during 2009.

Lanier said MPD has put an investigator on the case, and that the Gay Liaison Unit is assisting with the investigation.  She was also asked whether it’s possible that the two assaults are related, and responded that “we don’t have anything to connect the two incidents as of right now.”

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