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Change Atlanta under fire for defending alleged anti-gay attacker
Brandon White's attorney said Friday that allegations from gay activists who accused the young man of lying about knowing the three men who brutally attacked him in southwest Atlanta are "patently false."
"Brandon did not know his attackers and it is sickening to think that people would say that without asking Brandon and are instead taking the word of one of the attackers," attorney Christine Koehler said.
Gay members of Change Atlanta told CBS Atlanta that they believed White, 20, lied when he said he did not know the three gang members who attacked him on Feb. 4 as he stepped outside a grocery store in the Pittsburgh community. The brutal assault, in which the attackers repeatedly called White "faggot," was videotaped and uploaded on a hip hop website where it went viral.
Inside the JVC Grocery & Deli, a large jar of pickled eggs sits on the front counter next to a window filled with lottery tickets. On a recent evening, a young woman puts in an order of hot wings. A piece of fried chicken — a wing — sits alone on the warming shelf behind the glass in the deli area of the store to the left of the entrance.
Three men in the back right corner of the store, wearing winter jackets, concentrate on gambling machines. Two-liter bottles of Fanta, Sprite and Coca-Cola line the floors along the racks holding typical grocery store stock — candy bars, potato chips, milk, eggs, laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid.
There is nothing that indicates this store, at 1029 McDaniel St. in Atlanta’s historic Pittsburgh neighborhood, is at the heart of a national story about anti-gay crime and gang violence, and has become ground zero for a new push for Georgia to pass a hate crimes bill.
Former state Rep. Douglas Dean, a member of the Pittsburgh Community Improvement Association, calls the store a “haven” for crime, an “eyesore” in the community filled with boarded up houses and empty storefronts.
Police have arrested one suspect in the anti-gay beating in Atlanta's Pittsburgh community that was videotaped and posted online, with two more suspects identified. Christopher Cain is charged with aggravated assault and robbery.
The full statement from the Atlanta Police Department issued this morning:
The Atlanta Police Department's Fugitive Unit, with assistance from APD Zone 6 Mobile Patrol, has arrested one of the suspects in the videotaped beating of 20-year-old Brandon White in southwest Atlanta last Saturday. Christopher Cain, B/M, 7/21/93, was taken into custody without incident around midnight in the DeKalb County portion of the City of Atlanta. He was charged with aggravated assault and robbery and transported to the Fulton County Jail. No further details of his apprehension will be released. With the assistance of tips received through Crime Stoppers Atlanta, police have also identified two other suspects, currently wanted for aggravated assault and armed robbery. At this time, their identifications are being withheld. The APD will continue to work with partner agencies, including the U.S. Attorney's Office, the FBI and the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, to bring all of the perpetrators to justice. No further information will be released at this time due to the pending investigation.