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  MCMILLIAN MURDER

FBI To Investigate Murder Of Gay MS Politician Marco McMillian As A Hate Crime

mcmillian-reedThe FBI will investigate the murder of openly gay Mississippi mayoral candidate Marco McMillian as a possible hate crime.

The agency is stepping in after being urged by both Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and the National Black Justice Coalition on Tuesday to seek potential hate crime charges.

Public affairs specialist Deborah Madden told USA Today that the FBI “will assess evidence to determine whether federal prosecution is appropriate.”

22-year-old Lawrence Reed was charged with the murder of McMillian last week and may have had an intimate relationship with his victim before allegedly “snapping” and killing him in a so-called “gay panic.” Though other theories claim that McMillian’s death may have been politically motivated.

While Mississippi’s hate crimes law does not cover sexual orientation, local and state agencies could pursue a federal hate crime under the Shepard-Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. It may prove difficult to charge Reed with a hate crime, however, since it is “difficult to disentangle the various threads of someone’s motive,” senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center Mark Potok told USA Today.

Mississippi usually reports the least number of hate crimes per state; it reported only one in 2011, while none were reported between 2005 and 2007. By comparison, Massachusetts reported 346 hate crimes in 2011, but that doesn’t mean there are more hate crimes in Massachusetts than in Mississippi — obviously — but simply that more of them were reported to the FBI.

McMillian’s family wants his murder investigated as a hate crime and according to his godfather, Carter Womack, “What’s been reported is not the true story of what happened to him.”

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Mar 8, 2013
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 1 Comment
    • Cam
      Cam

      Isn’t it interesting that the Hate Crimes in Mississippi are never listed by the local police as hate crimes. The FBI always has to step in and “Explain” to them that yes, killing somebody because of their race etc… is a hate crime.

      Remember, this is a state where school administrators held a secret prom to avoid having to abide by a court ruling telling them they couldn’t keep a young girl out of the prom just because she was a lesbian.

      I would say that the U.S. could solve it’s debt problem if we just sold off Mississippi to another country, but I don’t think anybody would be interested in buying it.

      Mar 8, 2013 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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