On Tuesday, August 16, a Brooklyn judge sentenced two members of the Orthodox neighborhood watchdog group Shomrim to three years probation and 150 hours community service for the brutal beating of a gay black man.
Pinchas Braver, 22, and Abraham Winkler, 42, yelled anti-gay slurs before they attacked Taj Patterson outside of Williamsburg in 2013. The beating left Patterson with a broken orbital socket and torn retina, and he remains blind in the left eye.
Braver and Winkler were the only two out of the group of five men who admitted guilt, and will have to pay $1,400 in restitution to Patterson and serve their community service hours in a “culturally diverse neighborhood.” Two other men had their cases dropped, while a third—Mayer Herskovic—begins his trial next week.
Patterson said his attackers were given “favorable and preferential treatment” by the NYPD following his assault, and has filed a federal lawsuit against both the city and the NYPD for an unspecified amount.