KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – On September 17th investigative journalist, and vibrant member of the Halifax activist community was the victim of a brutal hate crime.
On August 31st, Stephen Wentzell reported his neighbour to the Halifax Regional Police (HRP) for domestic violence. The police visited the individual but left without making an arrest.
On Thursday evening, Wentzell became his neighbour’s next target.
According to Wentzell’s post on Facebook, he endured “over a dozen punches to the head” and so many kicks that his attacker’s boot fell off.
Wentzell posted a graphic audio recording of the incident. Sounds of kicks and punches are punctuated with homophobic slurs and desperate cries for help.
Wentzell’s post is being shared broadly, including by his brother who writes “…Stephen did not deserve this kind of treatment for sticking up for a woman dealing with an abusive husband. He is a smart caring person who would do anything for anyone, I’m glad you are going to be okay and proud to call you my brother. The world needs more people like you.”
Wentzel suffered a concussion, but says he is grateful that his injuries are not more serious.
According to his Facebook post, his attacker has been charged with assault and uttering threats of death or bodily harm.
Wentzell encourages Nova Scotians to reach out to Justice Minister Mark Furey (902-530-3883, or email@example.com) if they have concerns about his case, or what he calls “the systematic failure of police to combat domestic violence.”
He also asks that concerned citizens contact HRP Chief Dan Kinsella (902-490-6500 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if they believe the attack should be charged as a hate crime, which it currently is not.
Wentzell also advises that Halifax citizens contact their councillors and encourage them to reallocate funds from Halifax Regional Police.
To assist Stephen Wentzell during his recovery, a Go Fund Me page has been started. If you have the means, please make a donation.
With a special thanks to our generous donors who make publication of the Nova Scotia Advocate possible.
Subscribe to the Nova Scotia Advocate weekly digest and never miss an article again. It’s free!