By Prem Calvin Prashad
A Queens LGBT artist and activist required seven staples to his head after an assault by performers shouting homophobic slurs outside a Richmond Hill bar Sunday night in full view of several witnesses from his LGBT advocacy group.
Mohamed Zaman Amin, who recorded a video immediately after the attack, said he was pummeled by members of a performing group at Players Bar and Restaurant, at 129-09 Liberty Ave.
A metal trophy, used as a weapon by one of the patrons in the assault, inflicted the most serious of Amin’s injuries, a laceration that required seven staples and hospitalization, he said. Witnesses claim the bar’s bouncers did not intervene during the assault and allowed the patrons to leave the premises.
Amin was there to support his brother’s boyfriend, who had entered a cooking competition held at the bar.
During the judging of the cooking competition, a patron allegedly made derogatory comments about the presence of Amin and his friends, who belong to a local Caribbean LGBT activist group known as Chutney Pride.
Amin objected to those comments, which drew attention to the group’s sexual orientation.
The incident is under investigation by the city Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force.
The owner of the bar did not respond to requests for comment.
After the announcement of the winners, a member of a Tassa drumming group, which was hired to provide entertainment at the club that night, allegedly dragged Amin and his brother outside, where members of that group were engaged in an altercation with Amin’s friends, the witnesses said.
In the ensuing scuffle, the assailant allegedly seized a trophy won by one of Amin’s friends in the cooking contest and used it to strike him, witnesses said.
Queens Caribbean LGBT and South Asian activists, outraged over graphic photos of Amin’s bloodied face in the video he made immediately after the attack, planned to rally for justice outside Players this week to hold businesses accountable for the safety of their patrons.
A rally was scheduled to take place at the Players Bar at 129-09 Liberty Ave. from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.
In a press release issued by Chutney Pride, Mohamed Q. Amin — Zaman Amin’s brother — called the violence unacceptable, noting that anti-gay hate “plagues our community and makes it an unsafe place to be.”
After a spate of violent hate crimes across New York City, activists are urging the LGBT community to be aware of their surroundings, seek out safe spaces and to prepare an exit strategy if they feel unsafe.
In a statement, the Amin family expressed their faith in the 106th Precinct’s ability to investigate the attack.