• Beating victim speaks out as community rallies to find attackers

    By: Erica Byfield


    ATLANTA,None - Brandon White told Channel 2 Action News he's afraid to stay in his own home after a group of men beat him and yelled gay slurs at him.

    White held a news conference Wednesday to discuss the brutal beating he took when eight men attacked him outside a southwest Atlanta store Saturday night.

    Someone recorded the beating and uploaded it to a hip-hop website Sunday.

    At the news conference, White spoke very strongly against the men who attacked him.

    "I should have justice, because those guys didn't feel my pain. They didn't care whether or not I was injured. I could have died that day," White said.

    The news conference was the first time White spoke about the attack.

    "They're monsters. And to want to release it and put it on the Internet, I feel that they wanted the attention themselves. They wanted to make themselves look like they were brave, they were strong. But in my opinion, I'm the brave one," White said.

    As community leaders rallied around White, he did not want to go into details about the case as FBI and Atlanta police officers continue to investigate and work to catch the men in the video.

    Crime Stoppers told Channel 2 Action News tips have been coming in about the case.

    During the conference, White was asked if he was surprised that very few people came to help him during the attack.

    "You know, I don't know. I don't know if I should be surprised, because of the community itself," White said. "The community itself needs help."



    Community outrage over beating

    Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed was one of many community leaders speaking out against White's beating, even pledging to double the reward being offered by Crime Stoppers to help find the attackers.

    Channel 2's Erica Byfield talked to Reed Wednesday and said the mayor's message was very clear: this type of violence is something he will not tolerate.

    "I thought this is completely unacceptable and no person should be victimized in this manner at all, in the city of Atlanta, certainly not because their sexual orientation," Reed said.

    Reed told Byfield his first reaction when he saw the video of the attack was, "What I'm doing is I'm taking action."

    The mayor said he's working closely with the FBI, Atlanta police and the U.S. Attorney's Office to find and prosecute the men behind the beating.

    On Wednesday, near the corner store where white was kicked and punched, an Atlanta police officer stood guard for most of the day.

    "It is ridiculous, it is gross, it is offensive... it's got to be stopped," said Thaddeus Works, who lives in Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood, where the attack happened.


    Residents say it's an embarrassment someone was treated this way.

    "I just hope we get justice," White said.

    Reed agrees.

    "They are working very hard to bring these people to justice. I'm hoping by doubling the reward that we will encourage someone to come forward with information on the people who beat this young man," Reed said.

    Reed told Byfield he plans on meeting with White.

    City councilwoman Cleta Winslow, who represents the Pittsburgh neighborhood, said she is donating $1,000 to the reward, bringing the total for the Crime Stoppers reward to $11,000 for information that may lead to an arrest in the attack.

    Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.


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