A gay couple assaulted outside New York’s Madison Square Garden are being featured in Hate in America, a one-hour special airing on Investigation Discovery on February 23.
In the special, Al Jazeera anchor Tony Harris talks to designer Nick Porto and his then-boyfriend Kevin Atkins, who were attacked after a Knicks game in 2013 by assailants who were never caught.
In the attack, a man called the couple an anti-gay slur, and when Porto responded, he was surrounded by a group of men, who pulled him into the street and beat him. Porto’s nose was broken in the attack and Atkins suffered a broken right wrist and lost his iPad and cell phone.
Porto posted of his bloodied face on Instagram to bring light to the incident, one of a string of homophobic attacks in the ostensibly tolerant city. (Less than two weeks after the assault, a man was shot and killed in an anti-gay attack in Greenwich Village.)
“I’m so upset — it’s my fault, I spoke back to them — that Kevin was hit, Porto said at the time. “I was that idiot that should have just walked away—I was being foolish. I was so naive to think that things were better here.”
The ID special also explores the racially charged murder of a black father in Mississippi, and the gruesome mass shooting of a Sikh congregation in Wisconsin, and Harris talks to victims, community leaders, civil rights attorneys, the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and even a former white supremacist who now crusades for unity among the races.
“I remain deeply moved by the willingness of the people I met to share the stories of how their lives have been changed forever by hate and intolerance,” said Harris. “I can’t imagine anyone being unaffected by these powerful testimonials.”
Hate in America airs February 23 at 8pm on Investigation Discovery