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Video: New York reels from brutal anti-gay attacks

  1. Closed captioning of: New York reels from brutal anti-gay attacks

    >>> here's in new york city eight men are in custody charged with hate crimes . the crimes are a shocking reminder that anti-gay violence in this country is still very much a fact of life. we get more tonight from michelle franzen .

    >> reporter: in new york city eight up suspects arrested over the weekend were arraigned on hate crime charges stemming from the brutal attacks of three individuals believed to be gay. they say nine members of a gang beat and tortured a 17-year-old recruit inside this bronx apartment after learning he was involved with main.

    >> he was thrown into a wall, made to strip naked, cut with a box cutter and sodomized with a wooden handle of a plunger.

    >> reporter: they attacked and tortured two more victims, unthinkable crimes premeditated and motivated by hate.

    >> you don't attack somebody because of who they are unless you are an ignorant coward.

    >> reporter: the attack marks the 50th anti-gay hate crime in the city this year, up from 41 at this time last year, and nationwide hate crimes based on sexual orientation are also on the rise.

    >> we have got to continue to do the work of changing hearts and minds and really getting at the root causes of hate-based violence.

    >> reporter: it is not always violence that triggers fear in victims. just two weeks ago rutgers university student tyler clemente jumped off a bridge after two classmates streamed his sexual encounter over the enter knit. for the mother of matthew shepard who was killed and tied to a fence post 12 years ago because of his sexual orientation , the latest high profile cases underscore the need to strengthen hate crime laws but teach basic respect.

    >> we need to teach empathy and what it feels like to be someone who is perceived as different.

    >> reporter: lessons lost at the cost of her son and other victims. michelle franzen , nbc news,

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