Lawrence King, age 15, killed by Brian McInereney, age 14
In accordance with my journal entry about the need for affirmative information: http://forthuyse.googlepages.com/affirmativeactionandaffirmativeinformati I will be reporting from time to time news items like this to alert people who are not always sufficiently aware of the seriousness of the problems encountered by gay teens in this country and the heavy responsability that lies with those leaders of our society who continue not to speak out, continue to oppose remedial education and alleviative legislation, or in the worst cases, seem to silently encourage or actively applaud the perpetrators of such terrible crimes--in some cases even organizing church parties to drive out to other parts of the country to heckle the victim's grieving family at the funeral itself.
These are not isolated incidents--they are a pattern, and far more so than the so called school shootings, which have been getting much more attention compared to the murder of gay teens.
The story that follows was reprinted from this week's Bay Area Reporter and is remarkable for the compassion shown by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in petitioning the courts NOT to prosecute the perpetrator as an adult, which the court at first had decided to do. I applaud that petition--for the primary responsability lies with the parents, the teachers, the ministers, the theologians, the politicians, the media and other leaders of society in not speaking out, not doing something more to prevent such terrible tragedies in the lives of two teenagers and their families. I will let the facts as reported by the B. A. R. speak for themselves and let you draw your own conclusions after some serious soul searching.
How much more must our gay community endure? We need solidarity from other communities in the face of such hatred. Many Christian communities have been progressive and helpful in this respect--but too many others have been sorely lacking. Please organize yourself to help. Talk about it in your schools and neighborhoods, in church, at work and in other places--but most of all--ponder on these matters in your heart and try to understand what I am driving at.
Reprinted from: http://ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=2904
Murder victim Lawrence King in an undated photo
A coalition of 27 LGBT and allied groups from California and elsewhere have sent a letter to the Ventura County District Attorney's office urging that the teenager charged in the shooting death of a gay Oxnard middle school student be tried as a juvenile.
Brandon McInerney, 14, was arrested in the case and has been charged as an adult in the February 12 murder of classmate Lawrence King, 15. Both were in class at E.O. Green Middle School when McInerney allegedly shot King. Students have reportedly said that McInerney targeted King because the victim was openly gay and sometimes wore feminine jewelry and makeup.
In a statement sent to Ventura County District Attorney Gregory Totten, the groups said that prosecuting McInerney as an adult would "not bring Lawrence King back, nor will it make schools safer for LGBT youth."
Organizations that signed the letter include the American Civil Libertie
Suspect Brandon McInerney in an undated photo
"We are saddened and outraged by the murder of junior high school student Lawrence King," the statement reads. "At the same time, we call on prosecutors not to compound this tragedy with another wrong. We call on them to treat the suspect as a juvenile, not as an adult."
The statement continued, "The alleged perpetrator, who turned 14 years old less than three weeks before the shooting, should be held accountable for his actions. But we support the principles underlying our juvenile justice system that treat children differently than adults and provide greater hope and opportunity for rehabilitation."
Jim Ellison, chief assistant district attorney for the Ventura County DA's office, told the Bay Area Reporter Tuesday, April 15 that his office has received the statement from the LGBT and allied groups and that investigators are still working on the case.
McInerney has an arraignment hearing scheduled for May 8; the defense has continued the arraignment several times, Ellison said. Newspaper reports indicate that the attorney initially representing McInerney withdrew from the case.
"We are still looking into a lot of aspects of the case," Ellison said, adding that the LGBT and allied groups' statement is "one of many we've received since the incident."
Ellison said that he hoped the office could make a decision as to whether McInerney would remain in adult court or be returned to juvenile court by May 8. The DA's office initially said McInerney would be tried as an adult.