News Briefing

Case continues for arrested gay couple

An investigation and judicial proceedings are still ongoing in the case of a gay couple arrested late last year for a domestic disturbance that led to a run-in with police.

The trials of Jason Mendez and Luis Berrios were both continued again late last month and are now scheduled for May and June, respectively.

Both were arrested in late December following a domestic disturbance during which Berrios alleges police used excessive force and racist and homophobic slurs.

Berrios filed a complaint with the Police Internal Affairs Division, which handles citizen grievances with police conduct. Internal Affairs has 75 days from the filing of the Jan. 4 report to complete the investigation.

Deputy Commissioner Stephen Johnson, head of Internal Affairs and liaison to the LGBT community, said investigators have had trouble contacting witnesses and others involved in the case for interviews, which has delayed it past the 75 days.

Planning for people-of-color group

The Elements Organization Action Network will stage its first quarterly community roundtable discussion, “Stepping into Action,” from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 9 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

The session will be facilitated by Stacey Long of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Group participants will discuss and determine the top issues impacting LGBT people of color in the area in order to begin planning for the organization’s 2012 campaign.

To attend, RSVP to [email protected] by 5 p.m. April 8.

Drinks and Democrats

The Liberty City Democratic Club will host a fundraiser next week to fuel its get-out-the-vote efforts in the coming weeks.

The Liberty City Spring Fundraiser and Happy Hour will be held from 6-8 p.m. April 11 on the second floor of Woody’s, 202 S. 13th St.

The event will allow Liberty City supporters to meet and greet with the myriad candidates running in the May 17 primary and, for Liberty City members, will qualify as one of two organizational events they need to attend in order to participate in the endorsement votes April 14.

For more information, search for Liberty City on Facebook.

Film tackles growing up gay

The award-winning LGBT-themed film “Punch Me” will be screened at 6:30 p.m. April 13 at the William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

“Punch Me” is a short film that focuses on one young man’s journey to self-acceptance as he grapples with other pressures in his life.

Hosted by BEBASHI, the screening is $5 and will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the cast, moderated by Chris Hayes.

— Jen Colletta

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