“Attack WAS A Hate Crime!” Boise Assault Victim Shares Story and Frustration

The alleged attack left her with a broken nose, cut lips, bruised ribs and a partially dislocated shoulder.  The aftermath has left 25-year-old Kyann Negaard wondering why authorities and the media aren’t doing more.

The incident happened October 5th at round 10:15 pm at an apartment complex in Ada County.  Negaard,who is an open lesbian along with her male roommate, who is also openly gay, returned home from grocery shopping to find their normal parking spot taken. Negaard says they parked across the street from their apartment complex, unloaded the groceries, and were just about to cross the street when she saw a vehicle coming at her at a high rate of speed.

She says if she had tried to cross a few seconds before she would have been hit.    The speeding car lurched into the apartment complex parking lot and Negaard says she called out to the vehicle’s occupants to slow down.  The passengers of the car, now identified  as 24-year- old Nicole Raymond and 30-year-old Robert Elam, allegedly got out and started yelling at her. “It was crazy”, says Negaard. “I told her to slow down and the next thing I knew she was in my face yelling homosexual slurs and asking me if I ‘didn’t like the way she drove'”.

It was then that Raymond allegedly started to attack her.  Negaard says it begin with several punches and then once she was on the ground, Raymond started kicking her. Meanwhile, says Negaard, Elam threw her roommate over a green power box and started hitting him as well.  He then allegedly went over and stood on Negaard while she was being kicked. “The whole time this was happening they were yelling things like “faggot” and “dyke” and anti-gay slurs so horrible that I don’t even want to repeat them.”

It was only after Negaard’s roommate was able to dial police on his cell phone, that the alleged beating stopped.  While Negaard laid on the ground, writhing in pain, her alleged attackers took and and went into one of the apartments.

Once sheriff’s deputies and paramedics arrived, Raymond and Elam were placed under arrest and charged with aggravated battery. Negaard was taken to the hospital.  Her roommate suffered minor injuries.

Negaard says neither her or her roommate had ever seen the pair before. She only later learned later that one of the alleged attackers has a relative living in the apartment complex.

A week later, as Negaard tries to recover from her injuries, she says even more painful is the way law enforcement and the media has handled the attack. She says a report of the incident doesn’t include any trace of the anti-gay slurs that both her and her roommate say they recounted to deputies.

“When we were telling the deputy about the names they were calling us, it was almost as if we were aggravating him. He didn’t want to hear it.”

She also says she’s frustrated at the media because so far not only have they too failed to mention the anti-gay slurs in order to warn others but they have also made it sound like her and her roommate were “just another couple”, which Negaard says couldn’t be further from the truth.

“We are both very open about our sexuality”, says Naagard. “It’s not any secret to anybody. It’s just frustrating because people need to know what’s going on.”

Neegard isn’t alone in her frustration.  She says she herself has at least five friends who have been attacked in alleged hate crimes this year, many of whom didn’t call the police because she says “they just don’t think it will do any good.”

Earlier this week, State Senator Nichole LeFavour (D-Boise) cited Neggard’s case in a tweet warning about a recent rash of hate crimes in Idaho’s capital city, “Sad: Man hit with golf club in Balcony club garage. Man and woman beaten outside pie hole. Woman beaten by couple screaming anti-gay slurs.” she tweeted.

The rise of the crimes hasn’t gone unnoticed by LGBTQIA community leaders either.  A few weeks ago a.l.p.h.a. executive director Duane Quintana and others met with the city of Boise to discuss what they say is an unreported problem.

According to the Idaho State Police website, “Idaho was one of the first twelve states to pass legislation regarding malicious harassment. Hate crime incidents are identified on the subjective motivation of the offender(s).”

However, “Law enforcement investigations solely determine the sufficient objective facts to lead to a reasonable and prudent conclusion that the offender’s actions were motivated by bias against a racial, religious, ethnic/national origin, mental/physical disability, or sexual-orientation group.”

That means the law is only as good as the training of the law enforcement involved.

Quintana told the Idaho Agenda following the meeting that there is still a lot of education that needs to take place among the police department and city council members regarding the LGBTQIA community.

“Often times members of the LGBTQIA community don’t call police out of fear of outing themselves or fear that the police aren’t going to take hate crime seriously,” said Quintana.

Still, he says it’s important to call the police so that the incident can not only be dealt with, but so that authorities have a better picture of the hate crime situation in Idaho.

Neegard and others will be participating in a panel discussion which will feature survivors, witnesses, activists, and other stake holders dealing with hate crimes in Boise and Idaho. The discussion will take place  this Sunday afternoon, October 16th, starting at 2:00 pm at Exposure a.l.p.h.a. Interchange located at 213 N. 10th St. in Boise.  The event is being presented as part of Exposure a.l.p.h.a. Interchange‘s “Social Justice Sunday” series.

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11 Responses to “Attack WAS A Hate Crime!” Boise Assault Victim Shares Story and Frustration

  1. As I was researching a story I did for the Boise Weekly last summer (http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2010/07/21/1695157-idahos-uniform-lgbt-hate-crime-reporting-not-so-uniform) I learned that now we have federal protection against hate crime based on sexual orientation and gender identity, we can turn to the FBI if local law enforcement is not taking these crimes seriously.

    If education efforts are not working any victim of a hate crime should consider filing a complaint with the regional FBI office. Perhaps that might encourage local law enforcement to take theses brutal hate crimes much more seriously.

    FBI Salt Lake City
    Suite 1200, 257 Towers Bldg.
    257 East, 200 South
    Salt Lake City, UT 84111-2048
    saltlakecity.fbi.gov
    (801) 579-1400

    The Southern Poverty Law Center recently compiled data from 14 years of FBI hate crime statistics. Their study concluded gays are twice as likely to be a victim of a hate crime than blacks, more than twice as likely as Jews and FOUR times as likely as Muslims.

    Best wishes and a speedy recover to Kyann Negaard!

  2. Outrageous, but Jody is right to mention the FBI LGBT liaison. I lived in New South Wales Australia for many years, during which such a force was established, and helped transform the police from a body that sometimes itself was involved in the commission of such attacks, to one that in my personal experience took such attacks very seriously, right up to prosecution and conviction.

    I hope that eventually this story does get legs in the local press. There’s bound to be a paper somewhere that will print it, and that will help it go into television and radio, that usually clean their stories from the morning papers. This should definitely be escalated for many reasons.

  3. jamestidmarsh says:

    @Jody Thanks! I’ll add that to the story! @Derek. It looks like they just did: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2011/10/13/1837568/gay-bashing-does-boise-have-a.html

  4. Suni says:

    I don’t believe that violence is worse just becuase it is aimed at gay people. People who are violent are full of hate, regardless who it is they are attacking. Why would beating up someone who is gay get a bigger punishment than my ex husband beating me up? If anything domestic violence is even more hateful. I was married. He was supposed to love me. He did love me for a long time. And then he beat my face black and blue. He was angry, he hit me and he damaged me, physically, emotionally and mentally. The news didn’t cover my story. Why would a gay person be considered more of a victim? Why would their abusers be considered more worthy of punishment? Violence is violence and should be treated the same regardless of the victim accept in cases of violence by an adult against a child.

    • Isaac says:

      Suni, that is a horrible story as well, and I guess that they are not considered ‘hate’ crimes becuase he did not beat you beacuase you were a woman, or because you were married. You knew this man, and chose to marry him, and he has some serious issues, that hopefully he is being properly punished for. But when someone has to be fearful of attacks solely based on their lifestyle, by people that they are not bringing into their lives… this is not theri spouse that they chose to be with/around, it’s a complete stranger who attacked them for the simple reason that they take issue with the pair’s sexuality. I’m sorry again that you were beaten as well.

    • tess says:

      suni- I am sorry your husband beat you and that is a crime. It is not worse that a gay person is herrassed but the point is we do not get the same protection as you would. The fact you dont feel like you were taken seriously falls on the police. The reason this is different is because we are singled out and treated differently on a daily basis. I have been turned down for several jobs because i am openly gay and even as far as someone saying it was my fault I should have dressed more like a girl. Or when old women yelled at me in grocery stores because i am confusing her grand kids. People throw water bottles from their cars at me. If i call the police they dont take it seriously. We are not asking for special attention just to be taken seriously and that law inforcement would concider gay bashing to be a hate crime. And hopefully with better education people wont act out against us out of fear.

    • Hate crime laws are designed to protect people who are targeted specifically because they belong to a particular ethnic, religious, cultural, sexual orientation or gender. They are not based on the individual, they are based on a group or perceived group a person or persons belong to.

      There are hate groups in this country that exist for no other purpose than to advocate violence again Blacks, Jews, Queers etc..That is the difference between violence by a perpetrator one has a relationship with and a perfect stranger.

      I do object to the usage of the word “lifestyle” that implies a choice. Although a person can choose their religion,they can not choose their ethnicity, color, sexual orientation or gender identity.

  5. jamestidmarsh says:

    @Suni, I too am truly sorry for your experience. Violence is never OK! Ever! Sociologically speaking, It almost always occurs as a tool to gain power and dominance, such as the domestic violence abuse situation you speak of. As Jody and others have pointed out that when you are speaking of a specific group or minority that sociological struggle becomes even more clear. Here is a good explanation that I pulled from a website on hate crimes sometime ago, “Hate crimes send a message of terror to an entire group and are therefore unlike a random act of violence. For example, the brutal murder of James Byrd, who was chained to the bumper of a truck and dragged down a street in Texas, sent a chilling message to African-Americans that racial violence and murder remain continued threats. Likewise, LGBTQI people wonder whether they will be the next Matthew Shepard. Hate crimes laws recognize the particular social threat of bias-motivated violence.” Thanks for reading!-JT

  6. I for one am so sorry you were hurt……………hate is evil..and the people who commit these crimes are evil….time will heal a broken nose I am not so sure time will heal a broken spirit?

  7. Pingback: On The Agenda: Hate Crimes, Slut Walk and Sticky Notes « The Idaho Agenda

  8. Pingback: “Attack WAS A Hate Crime!” Boise Assault Victim Shares Story and … - Attorney for Court

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