After two men were violently attacked late Saturday night in Williamsburg in an apparent hate crime, the suspect—whose photo has been spread all over news and social media—has turned himself in to police. Brandon McNamara, 25, of Middle Village, surrendered to the NYPD at the Lower East Side’s 7th Precinct. He was promptly arrested and charged with 2 counts each of hate crime assault, assault, aggravated harassment and harassment—McNamara does not have a prior criminal record.
Late Saturday night, two men had left gay bar Metropolitan (559 Lorimer Street). McNamara approached them as they were walking, about half a block around the corner from the bar on Metropolitan Avenue. He shouted a homophobic slur at them and then punched one in the face and shoved the other into a tree. He then beat both men unconscious and fled; the men were taken to the hospital, suffering broken bones. A bystander snapped a photo of McNamara, which was widely circulated this week as police searched for the suspect.
Councilman Stephen Levin was arrested outside of City Hall on Wednesday morning. Levin, who chairs the General Welfare Committee was arrested along with other protestors during a demonstration urging Mayor de Blasio to release the results of a study on supervised opioid consumption spaces.
Safer Consumption Spaces (SCS) are Supervised Injection Facilities where opioid addicts can consume pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. The Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for drug policy based on “science, compassion, health and human rights,” sees SCS as one of the most successful approaches to the opioid epidemic, with the potential to save thousands of lives. Continue reading →