DETROIT (WXYZ) - It was a brutal attack, in broad daylight, right along Detroit’s busy RiverWalk.
“They started calling me names and calling me fags and gay and it went from there,” Christin Howard, said of the unprovoked attack.
Cell phone video of what Howard called an unprovoked attack was captured by a teenage girl who had stopped Howard to take a photo with him. The 20-year old gay man was downtown Sunday to attend Motor City Pride, a gay and lesbian event held annually at Hart Plaza.
Howard and his mother, Tammara, spent 90 minutes with Detroit Police on Tuesday, providing a formal statement to investigators.
“These young men need to go to jail for what they did to my son because it was totally unfair what they did to him,” said Tammara Howard.
Yvonne Siferd of Equality Michigan sat with the family during the meeting with police. Siferd works on behalf of victims of violence for the LGBT community.
“We are not harming anybody by simply being who we are and loving who we love and being able to walk down there street, like everybody else, without fear of being attacked for who we are, it’s a basic human right that I think that we all deserve,” said Siferd.
The video of the attack has gone viral and there has been considerable back and forth on social media over what took place. 7 Action News heard from people as far away as Dallas and Atlanta who claim they can identify some of the individuals involved in the beating.
“I feel like justice is going to be served, for sure, and I feel like everything is going to come out on top,” said Howard.
Tammara Howard said it had been a difficult 48 hours for the family.
“My son has a right to live his life and be and active and do what he like to do and don’t have to be harassed and beat up, bullied,” she said. “That’s not right. Because he’s gay? Come on now.”