When longtime Mid City Yacht Club customer Jorge Gomez was assaulted outside the bar by two off-duty NOPD officers, the bar’s staff wanted to do something to help him. As news spread across the city, more people wanted to find ways to show support for Gomez, who was called a “fake American” by the duo before the attack.
Currently, a GoFundMe fundraiser created on Thursday for Gomez has raised $4,672, contributed from 103 people. Additionally, MCYC is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 4 and aims to help Gomez pay for any expenses incurred while he heals from his injuries and while the case is ongoing.
The Facebook event listing for Saturday’s fundraiser reads, “Let us stand together to show those who would do our friends and neighbors harm that we will outshine their hate with our love and kindness. Jorge is a friend, a neighbor, and staple at the Mid City Yacht Club. He is a quiet, gentle man who was targeted and beaten by 2 men who were supposed to be defending and protecting all of us.”
Many people have inquired about how they can help or contribute. According to the Facebook event listing, the MCYC staff is accepting any goods or services that can be raffled or auctioned off. Contact a staff member for more details. You can message them on Facebook here or call (504) 483-2517.
The officers, John Galman, 26, and Spencer Sutton, 24, were arrested Tuesday and have since been fired. Both former officers have pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor simple battery charge. Gomez told Fox 8 that the then-rookie officers called him over and began asking him about his military service, seeing that he was wearing a camouflage print on his shirt and pants.
“Calling me fake American and all that; we almost look the same color so I don’t know what the difference between him and me. What is the difference at this point?” Gomez said of the two men he says accosted him, and telling him that he was going to die.
NOPD Chief Michael Harrison issued the following statement:
“After gathering multiple video accounts and eyewitness statements, the evidence collected by our PIB investigators clearly demonstrates that our officers were the aggressors in this incident… Members of our department are expected to comply with the law and adhere to the highest standards of professional conduct, whether on- or off-duty. The swift pace at which the Public Integrity Bureau investigated this incident and the decisive actions taken by the NOPD today by arresting the officers and starting the termination process clearly demonstrate how seriously our department views their actions.”
Additionally, the New Orleans City Council President Jason Williams issued a statement about the incident:
“This community suffered a major setback this week. Our collective humanity suffered this week from the actions of two men, two off-duty new police officers. Depending on who you ask, the NOPD is between 95 percent and 75 percent in complete compliance with all federal consent decree requirements. Our federal consent decree compliance is unprecedented nationally. We have gone above and beyond thanks to Chief Michael Harrison and Judge Susie Morgan. However, after a few drinks, a couple of new officers engaged in despicable, repulsive racist acts of violence against one of our fellow citizens. A good and kind man by every account. A patriot. A veteran. A good neighbor.Mr. George Gomez, as Council President I need to publicly apologize to you on behalf this city. I am sorry for the pain and anguish that has been inflicted on you. I understand and respect your desire to not join us today. I don’t know it would be here now either.
Neighborhood Support Fundraiser for Jorge Gomez
Saturday, Aug. 4, 4-8 p.m.
Mid-City Yacht Club