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A gay couple say they were assaulted by a group of drunk men who claimed to be cops and then were allowed to leave the scene by responding officers.
Kenny Coppedge and his boyfriend, Jordan Frye, say they were approached by the group, who were initially friendly, in Charlotte, North Carolina's South End on Sunday night. But then one of the men accused the couple of stealing from a friend's purse and allegedly became violent, putting Coppedge's arm around his back and throwing him to the ground.
"They just kept telling me that they were cops... and they were going to keep me there until they proved I didn't steal anything," Coppedge told local news station WJZY.
Coppedge sustained a bruised neck and chest, as well as a cut in his eyelid.
Eventually, police with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) arrived. However, the couple claims responding officers only spoke briefly with the assailants before allowing them to leave. A police report indicates the identity of the attackers is unknown, according toWJZY.
Police have not responded to the station's request for comment.
For his part, Coppedge believes they were off-duty police who were visiting from New Jersey, based on their comments and demeanor. He says he is seeking justice for what happened to the couple and wants their attackers to be prosecuted.
"The way they were maneuvering us and the way that they pinned us down, it was like they were trained to do that," Coppedge said. "I want them to be charged."
Several years ago, the CMPD made headlines when a group of police chaplains resigned after the department added a gay chaplain to its roster. Several other chaplains left their positions in protest.