Hate Crime...so sad
Gay Teens Killing Labeled a Hate Crime....
Current mood: disgusted
Category: News and Politics
Gay Teen's Killing Labeled a Hate Crime
By REBECCA CATHCART, The New York Times..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = O />
Posted: 2008-02-23 17:20:18
Filed Under: Nation News
OXNARD, Calif. (Feb. 23) - Hundreds of mourners gathered at a church here on Friday to remember an eighth-grade boy who was shot to death inside a junior high school computer lab by a fellow student in what prosecutors are calling a hate crime.
In recent weeks, the victim, Lawrence King, 15, had said publicly that he was gay, classmates said, enduring harassment from a group of schoolmates, including the 14-year-old boy charged in his death.
"God knit Larry together and made him wonderfully complex," the Rev. Dan Birchfield of Westminster Presbyterian Church told the crowd as he stood in front of a large photograph of the victim. "Larry was a masterpiece."
The shooting stunned residents of ..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />..:NAMESPACE PREFIX = ST1 />
"We've never had school violence like this here before, never had a school shooting," said David Keith, a spokesman for the Oxnard Police Department.
Les Winget, 44, whose daughter Nikki, 13, attends the school, called the crime "absolutely unbelievable."
Jay Smith, executive director of the Ventura County Rainbow Alliance, where
The gunman, identified by the police as Brandon McInerney, "is just as much a victim as
The law center is working with Equality California and the Gay-Straight Alliance to push for a legislative review of anti-bias policies and outreach efforts in
That finding is representative of schools across the country, said Stephen Russell, a
Mr. Davis said "more and more kids are coming out in junior high school and expressing gender different identities at younger ages."
"Unfortunately," he added, "society has not matured at the same rate."
A senior deputy district attorney, Maeve Fox, would not say why the authorities added the hate crime to the murder charge.
In interviews, classmates of the two boys at
"They teased him because he was different," said Marissa Moreno, 13, also in the eighth grade. "But he wasn't afraid to show himself."
Since the shooting, hundreds of people have sent messages to a memorial Web site where photographs show Lawrence as a child with a gap in his front teeth, and older, holding a caterpillar in the palm of his hand.
"He had a character that was bubbly," Marissa said. "We would just laugh together. He would smile, then I would smile and then we couldn't stop."
On the morning of Feb. 12,
Unconscious when he arrived at the hospital, Lawrence was declared brain dead the next day but kept on a ventilator to preserve his organs for donation, said the Ventura County medical examiner, Armando Chavez. He was taken off life support on Feb. 14.
At a vigil for
She raised her chin and arched an eyebrow in imitation. " 'If you want cute boots,' "
Copyright © 2008 The New York Times Company