denials

Navy: ‘No Evidence’ August Provost’s Murder Was a Hate Crime

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Just because gay rights activists say the murder of 29-year-old sailor August Provost on the Navy’s Camp Pendleton base in Southern California was a hate crime, military brass would like to put it out there that they’ve got zero indication it was.

Found shot dead in a guard shack in the early morning hours Tuesday, Provost lived his life more openly than some gay sailors afraid of Don’t Ask Dont’ Tell would. He was open about his sexuality on his Facebook and MySpace pages, and his boyfriend (yes, he had one of those too) Kaether Cordero said lived an out lifestyle. And he complained to family and friends before his death that he was dealing with harassment on the base.

Now Capt. Matt Brown, a Navy public affairs director, says, “There is no evidence or information that suggests this is a hate crime.” What’s more, the Navy says it can’t confirm there Provost was harassed, which is not the same thing as declaring he was not, indeed, harassed.

Thus far, investigators have released one “person of interest” while another is in custody.

And while the investigation is still under way, Navy brass doesn’t appear even willing to entertain the idea Provost’s murder had anything to do with his sexuality. That’s what these soundbite-friendly statements to the press are for: Turning the story in the media to sanitize it. Except Capt. Brown says there is no evidence or information suggesting this was a hate crime. Perhaps he has not phoned Provost’s family?

MORE: Some personal details from Provost’s MySpace page, where he lists himself as “in a relationship.”

Nov. 6, 2008, blog entry: “I just am going to say a few words. I miss my boyfriend and I am missing all my family back at home… LOVE YOU ALL… Miss you KAETHER…”

Provost:

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Showing off his abs:

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With his brother:

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With his siblings:

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MORE: CNN reports: Rep. Bob Filner says he was on the base hours after Provost’s murder, but Navy leadership didn’t even mention the incident to him — before railing against DADT.