Viral on Facebook this week, the above photo allegedly depicts the aftermath of a brutal homophobic attack, but don’t hit that share button just yet. Despite a painful and harrowing account accompanying the bloody photo, this post is a total hoax.
The photo, which has been shared nearly 200,000 times on the social network, depicts Richard Scott Kennedy of Blackpool, who claims to have been the victim of a hate crime. Kennedy writes:
“Here is my face after a homophobic attack, 4 of my teeth are gone, not fallen out but deep inside my gums and cheek, one is sitting under my cheek inside my gum on the right side bottom of my nose. My face is swollen and it was worse yesterday, both my knees are badly injured and I struggle to walk and my hole face is constantly throbbing and i’m now on 4 tablets a day for pain and infection and may require surgery to sort the damage.
“All of this and what was their motive? because of my fucking sexuality. something that doesn’t concern ANYONE else minus me and the person I fall for, either man or woman. A sex life is private and has nothing to do with no one, needless to say it’s absolutely disgraceful to violently attack someone because of who they are. My confidence has gone, im utterly embarrassed to be seen in public, the only reason I am putting this picture up is because I want you to see me as an example. An example why homophobia is wrong and it’s disgusting that it’s still around in 2014. Society needs to get a grip, people are who they are, people are different, people are gay, straight, bi, transexual, black, white, asian, fat, skinny, small and tall but regardless of who they are and what they look like they are still human. There is more to people than their sexual preference and what they look like.
“This is just another homophobic attack that happens every day, but it needs to stop, this is wrong, this is disgusting and using sexual preference as a motive to be violent and abusive is utter inhumane.
“Please like and share to make people even more aware that this sort of thing needs to stop.”
Despite his moving plea, how Kennedy really acquired his injuries is quite a bit more mundane. According to police investigating the case, Kennedy probably messed up his face when he fell on it in the parking lot outside of a bar. This ain’t no cover-up, either. There’s video to prove it, and Kennedy himself admitted to the lie.
Per the Lancashire Evening Post:
He had claimed he suffered verbal abuse after leaving the bar and his only recollection was waking up in the street, covered in blood with a battered face. He was found by friends and taken to hospital.
Detective Inspector Paddy O’Neill said: “We managed to recover some CCTV footage which shows the injured party falling face-first onto the pavement. We have showed him the CCTV and he now accepts his injuries were caused during the fall. Having had oversight of the investigation since its inception and taking into account the full circumstances, I accept his report was made in good faith. The investigation into this matter is indicative of the lengths we will go to when investigating reports of violent crime in the city. We believe assaults, and hate crime assaults in particular, are under-reported in the city for many reasons.”
Now don’t go to Kennedy’s Facebook page and flame him for lying, but if you spot LGBT allies sharing his homophobic attack post, shoot them a kind message with this link so they don’t look silly for sharing this hoax.
[h/t – Towleroad]