Markus K. Garner, Atlanta Journal Constitution, February 7, 2012
Federal authorities joined Atlanta police Monday in investigating video footage posted online of an apparent gang-related beating in southwest Atlanta.
The video, posted on YouTube and the website for WorldHipHop.com and reported by online news site The Smoking Gun, shows three men attacking a man they claim to be gay coming from a grocery store on McDaniel Street.
One of the alleged assailants shouts a derogatory term for gays as he attacks the victim.
In a prepared statement emailed to the media Monday night, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said, “Along with the Atlanta Police Department, we are working to determine if the actions portrayed in the video violate federal law, including the hate crime statute.
“The actions depicted in the video are appalling and unacceptable in our community, and we encourage anyone with information about this video to contact the FBI or Atlanta Police,” Yates said.
In the video, the victim appears to be talking on his cell phone as he emerges from the store, and rounds a corner into an apparent ambush.
Three assailants swarm the man, punching and kicking him repeatedly. When the man falls to the ground, someone grabs a car tire and strikes him with it.