LGBT advocates in Newark, N.J., on Sept 20 issued a letter to the press that they sent to Mayor Corey Booker demanding that the execution-style murders of three young adults and the shooting of another in August be investigated as a potential anti-gay hate crime.
Dashon Harvey, 20, Terrance Aeriel 18, and Iofemi Hightower, 18—all students at Delaware State—died from the schoolyard shooting on Aug 4 that seriously injured Natasha Aeriel, 19. Newark authorities say robbery was a factor in the heinous crime, in which the six suspects arrested thus far have included three juveniles.
Gay activist James Credle insisted in his letter on behalf of a Newark LGBT organization that at least one of the victims, all of whom were African-American, was gay. He asked why this integral part of their identities, known to friends, has not been discussed in media reports that classify them as model young people.
Garden State Equality, the statewide LGBT rights group, endorsed the letter and called on authorities to investigate the hate crimes possibility.