Saturday, March 09, 2013

FBI Announces Involvement In McMillian Case

The latest news in the murder of Marco McMillian is that the Federal Bureau of Investigation  has announced that it is going to conduct an investigation of the horrifying death of the Black, gay man whose body was found beaten and burned last week. A suspect, Lawrence Reed, has been named in the case.

The action by the FBI is in response to a letter from the National Black Justice Coalition calling for such an investigation, since Mississippi does not have a hate crime law which includes sexual orientation.

NBJC Executive Director Sharon Lettman-Hicks issued a statement:

After speaking extensively with the family, community and anti-violence coalition members like the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), NBJC feels the perpetuation and validation of the “gay panic” defense is irresponsible. The conflicting reports as well as the current racial and anti-LGBT climate in Mississippi is justification enough for a federal investigation. 
NBJC is standing firmly with Marco McMillian’s family so that their concerns do not fall on deaf ears. The details of this case just aren’t adding up. Whether on the basis of race or sexual orientation, hate is hate. If there is the possibility that McMillian was murdered because of who he is, that warrants the Department of Justice’s involvement.

There are conflicting reports about the relationship between the suspect and the victim and concerns have been raised that a "gay panic" defense may be used by the defendant.

Hat/tip to Rod 2.0

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