by: Tony Thomas Updated:
ATLANTA,None - The mother of a suspect involved in the videotaped beating of a gay man in Atlanta’s Pittsburgh community spoke out about the incident for the first time.
“I do love my son. This has been a nightmare since it started and I wouldn’t wish this on any parent or child,” the mother of one of the suspects said Saturday afternoon at a community meeting, which drew gay advocates and other concerned residents.
The meeting comes weeks after video of three suspects punching and kicking a gay man on the corner of McDaniel Street went viral. At least one person is seen yelling gay slurs at the victim, Brandon White, attacked as he leaves a southwest Atlanta neighborhood store.
Many supporters believe the young man was targeted because of his sexual orientation, but one of the suspect's lawyers insisted this was not a random or gay-motivated attack, reported Channel 2’s Tony Thomas, who covered the weekend meeting.
When asked if the beating was a hate crime, attorney Jay Abt, who represents suspect, Dorian Moragne, said ‘no’. Abt said he also believes his client and the victim knew each other.
“We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg so far,” Abt told Thomas during a question and answer segment.
Abt would not say more or allow Moragne’s mother to discuss what the motive for the attack might have been.
Meanwhile, activists said they still support White.
Devin Ward, of Change Atlanta, a local gay advocacy group, said although the type of crime that happened against White is up for question, the critical aspect is that “a crime indeed occurred.”
Atlanta Police and the FBI are investigating this case.