In a year marked by tragic LGBT hate crimes on Capitol Hill, Seattle Police said the department would “err on the side of caution” when pursuing suspected cases. The King County Prosecutor’s office appears to be following suit. Prosecutors are moving forward with two malicious harassment cases stemming from Capitol Hill incidents this year.
Ibrahim Koroma was arrested in October for allegedly shouting anti-lesbian slurs at an female bouncer sitting outside of R Place. The bouncer told police Koroma called her a “dyke bitch” and said “in my country, we murder you, we murder you.” The victim told police it seemed Koroma was harrassing a gay couple on the street prior to the incident.
Koroma was arraigned Tuesday and his malicious harassment case is scheduled for a hearing later this month.
In August, police arrested Ivan Prokhorin for allegedly calling two men “faggots,” then striking one with a baseball bat. The victims were holding hands on a Sunday night near Harvard Ave and E Pine. Prosecutors have since charged Prokhorin with malicious harassment, the state’s hate crime charge. Prokhorin’s trial is scheduled to start Wednesday.
In October, a SPD report showed there have been 10 hate crime incidents investigated in the East Precinct covering Capitol Hill, with the majority of those happening in Pike/Pine.
Advocates for the LGBTQ communities say the numbers are likely much higher with under-reporting due to cultural and policing biases past and present.
Seattle Police say “extremist beliefs” drove Ali Brown to shoot to death two men he met while out at R Place as part of a nationwide crime and murder spree. Meanwhile, Musab Masmari was sentenced to 10 years for the New Year’s arson at Neighbours nightclub. While prosecutors and police say Masmari was clearly driven by anti-gay motivations, the case was not prosecuted as a hate crime.