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SD mayor, police chief speak out against hate crimes

San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders and the city's police chief delivered a strong message against hate crimes. Five gay men were viciously assaulted over the Gay Pride Parade weekend. The most seriously injured victim ended up in the hospital with a fractured skull. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Police chief Bill Lansdowne said the attacks were planned, not random incidents. The victims were verbally assaulted as well as physically.
Mayor Sanders called the three perpetrators - all of them young white men - cowards, and said he's directed police to vigilantly pursue all hate crimes.

Sanders: "Clearly these animals want to push these men back into the closet, we won't and shouldn't allow that to occur. I wanted to assure the citizens of our community that we will do every thing in our power to fight hate crimes against any citizen whether gay, African American or any other ethnic group."

Twenty-three hate crimes have been reported in San Diego so far this year, five of them related to sexual orientation. Chief Landsdown said once caught, the accused in this case will be charged with attempted murder. Alison St John, KPBS News.

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