Ashanti Watson and boyfriend allegedly shot at while walking in North Mpls because they're gay

Categories: Crime, GLBT
ashanti watson rect.jpg
Watson and his boyfriend were walking and holding hands when shots rang out.
Just after 11:30 in the morning on July 10, Ashanti Watson, 20, and his boyfriend, 22, were walking down the street near 36th Avenue North and Girard Avenue when a group of strangers started harassing them.

"They didn't like how we were walking and said some smart remarks," Ashanti told City Pages, adding that he was holding his boyfriend's hand at the time. "They called us fags, told us to 'get the fuck out of here.' Then, unfortunately, the situation escalated in a terrifying way -- one of the men pulled out a gun and opened fire at the couple.

Thankfully, Watson and his boyfriend were able to escape unharmed. They called the MPD. A police report characterizes the incident as a "Bias Crime." The gunman and three accomplices fled the scene in a dark green Yukon. No arrests have been made.

Watson described the gunman and his accomplices as black males, probably in their late 20s. The gunman was wearing a peach-colored button-up shirt with white shorts. Two of the men shouted gay slurs at the couple, while one of the four actually told his buddies to "shut up" and "stop it" in the moments before shots were fired, Watson said.

Asked if he thought the gunman was trying to kill him and his boyfriend, Watson said, "I don't know to be honest, but I believe that he could've if he really wanted to shoot us," adding that he and his boyfriend were walking away from the suspects with their backs turned when shots rang out.

Watson lives on the North Side. He said being targeted for violence because of his sexual orientation has "never happened to me before."


Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
9 comments
alisgray
alisgray

Mr. Watson, if you're reading this, please know that I am very glad to hear that you and your boyfriend were not hurt.  Please consider moving to my neighborhood instead.  Peace.

Jason Kay
Jason Kay

Just another reason to stay out of North Minneapolis. The most biased crimes happen in North Minneapolis.  If you are not a ghetto thug or a ghetto ho, they will shoot you.  If you happen to "walk" like a gay man, they will shoot you.  Here is a hint: get the fuck out of North Minneapolis!

Jason Kay
Jason Kay

Guns don't kill people.  People with guns do.  I guess I must have gained weight not because of the food I was eating....I must have gained that weight due to the fork.

alfrankensays...
alfrankensays...

No, this story must be wrong.  Only white males are homophobic.

Allison
Allison

BIAS CRIME?!? That makes it sound okay that they were shot at because they're gay. I'm pretty sure this should be classified as a Hate Crime. It was very clear why they were getting harrassed and shot at. Thanks MPD...

DuluthDowntown
DuluthDowntown

Ashanti, I had this happen with my boyfriend a while ago in downtown Duluth.  While the police are a lot more responsive to hate crimes than before, you have to dig deep and keep telling your experience to anyone who will listen.  Someone there knows those guys and it's only a matter of time before they do this to someone else.  Talk to the GLBT anti-violence project.  Talk to the people at District 202; they have a lot of connections to other gay advocacy groups who can tell even more people.  Too often we overestimate how progressive Minneapolis is.  Thank God you guys didn't get hurt, but don't let this incident make you feel like you have to isolate or move.  This is THEIR problem - you and your boyfriend have every right to live anywhere you want!  You got a lot of people on your side.  With love from Duluth, Jon.

Liz
Liz

This is so messed up.  We're better than this, Minneapolis.

Dr. J
Dr. J

Is it ironic or just funny that the dumb criminals have the same values as the racist bigots who post racist stupidty about how black people are inferior?   If only the Republicans didn't insist on being a completely racist party they could appeal to these bigot criminals who love guns.

BabyBunnyBohn
BabyBunnyBohn

@Liz Actually, Minneapolis is not. It has a notorious rep because it is filled with people like this. Not all of them, but a good majority of them. 

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...