Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts

July 3, 2020

Sentenced to Life in Prison For Killing Two Gay Men and Transgender Woman in Detroit

By The Associated Press
A 19-year-old Detroit man has been sentenced to three life terms in prison with no chance of parole for gunning down two gay men and a transgender woman who authorities believe were targeted because of their sexual orientation.
A Wayne County jury convicted Devon Kareem Robinson of first-degree premeditated murder in March in the May 2019 killings of 21-year-old Alunte Davis, and 20-year-olds Timothy Blancher and Paris Cameron.
Devon Kareem Robinson.
 Devon Kareem Robinson.Wayne County Prosecutor's Office / via AP

Robinson was also sentenced Tuesday to 10 to 20 years for each of two counts of assault with intent to murder and two years consecutively for five felony firearm counts.
Prosecutors said Davis and Blancher were gay men and Cameron was a transgender woman. Prosecutors and police believe they were targeted because of their sexual orientation.
The three victims were in the living room of a Detroit home following a house party attended by about 15 people. Robinson is also accused of shooting and wounding two other people inside the house.
A survivor testified in November that Robinson fired so many bullets that the victims’ blood seeped through the walls.“The defendant’s actions were disturbing on so many levels,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement.
“We will continue to be vigilant in our fight to eradicate hate in Wayne County and beyond,” she said.
Robinson’s attorney, Evan Callanan Jr., said during a November hearing that there was no evidence against his client, calling prosecutors’ allegations “a fanciful theory.”

June 9, 2019

18 Yr. Old Targeted LGBT in Detroit Killing 3, Caught and Charged with First Degree Murder

Devon Robinson, 18, was charged with first-degree murder in the killings of three people in Detroit, officials said.CreditCreditWayne County Prosecutor's Office

An 18-year-old man who was targeting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was charged with first-degree murder in the killings of three people in a Detroit home, the authorities said.

Officials said the man, Devon Robinson, shot the victims — two of whom were gay and one who was a transgender woman — on May 25. An investigation by the Detroit police led to his arrest on Thursday, prosecutors said in a statement.

Officials said Mr. Robinson also shot two other people who survived their injuries. Maria Miller, an assistant prosecutor, said on Saturday that a motive would be revealed at a trial.

“It is alleged that these victims were targeted and killed because they were part of the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” she said. 

Officials identified those killed as Timothy Blancher, 20, and Alunte Davis, 21, who were gay, and Paris Cameron, 20, a transgender woman.

It was unclear whether Mr. Robinson knew the victims or had any previous interactions with them. It was also unknown if there was any relationship among the victims or if those who were injured were gay or transgender.

“The alleged actions of this defendant are disturbing on so many levels, but the fact that this happened during Pride Month adds salt into the wound,” Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor, said in a statement.

Alanna Maguire, president of the Fair Michigan Foundation, said, “This case illustrates the mortal danger faced by members of Detroit’s L.G.B.T.Q. community, including transgender women of color.”

The foundation’s Fair Michigan Justice Project promotes civil rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people in Michigan and works with law enforcement to help solve crimes against them.
Mr. Robinson was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder and five counts of the use of a firearm in connection with a felony.

He was being held in jail and was scheduled to appear in court on June 21. It was not immediately clear on Saturday whether he had a lawyer.

September 14, 2016

Hate Crimes Up in Detroit } Gay Man Shot on Date from FaceBook

In Detroit's third serious anti-LGBT assault since July, a gay man was shot and nearly killed after a teen lured him to quiet meeting spot.

The 19-year-old shooter, Kaleel Williams, is currently in police custody and has been charged with assault with intent to murder. According to local news station WXYZ, police say Williams met his gay victim on Facebook in late August, then invited him to meet in person.

When the victim showed up at the corner of Appoline and Grove in a quiet residential area of Detroit's west side, he reportedly noticed that the guy he was there to meet was wearing white latex gloves on his hands. Police say the LGBT victim became alarmed immediately and started to back away. Then Williams pulled out a gun and began shooting while yelling homophobic slurs.

The victim was hit by two bullets as he ran away, and collapsed in the street—where a neighbor called 911.

"I heard gun shots and heard him yelling, saying he got shot," a different, anonymous witness told WXYZ. "It's really messed up how people not really past that, you know what I'm saying? It's 2016, so we should really accept other things and how people believe, because a lot of times people can't really help who they are."

Anti-LGBT crimes appear to be on the rise in Michigan, something the newly formed Fair Michigan Justice Project hopes to curb. The nonprofit formed this summer in order to raise money for a special investigator and prosecutor to work with local police on anti-LGBT violence.

Detroit's LGBT community began pressing for law enforcement to investigate hate crimes after the 2015 murder of Amber Monroe, a 20-year-old transgender woman. But the pressure to take the reins grew after the Orlando massacre in which 49 LGBT people were killed this June. 

Michigan law currently offers no legal protections related to sexual orientation or gender identity—which could be part of why the LGBT community there now has to fund its own law enforcement team to investigate the spate of violence.

Fair Michigan quickly helped secure a hate crime conviction just one month after it was formed in July: Byron Wade was convicted of a felony assault charge in after trying to stab a 22-year-old gay black man while calling him a "fag," "queer," and "bitch" in August.

In a press release, Fair Michigan President Dana Nessel used the case as an example of why the program was so necessary.

"LGBTQ people are far more likely to be targeted for hate crimes than any other minority group. Despite this, LGBTQ victims are less likely to feel safe reporting these incidents," Nessel said. “The Fair Michigan Justice Project provides a resource for hate crime victims to ensure their cases will be handled with respect and that the assailants will be prosecuted.

July 8, 2014

Detroit and Gays


Every movement has its landmarks and history, and that holds true for the gay rights movement.
LGBT history has landmarks in New York, with The Stonewall Inn, Christopher Street, and the theater district.
San Francisco has the Castro and Market Districts, and the San Francisco City Hall where Harvey Milk was assassinated.
Chicago has the Old Town Triangle District and the home of early gay rights leader Henry Gerber.
But what about Detroit? LGBT historian Tim Retzloff says there is a rich history of Detroit’s gay community that has not been properly told.
Retzloff corrected that omission with the dissertation that earned his PhD from Yale: two volumes, 680 pages, taking an exhaustive look at gay life and history in Detroit and its suburbs from 1945 to 1985.
“Detroit had a different story than what you are finding in New York and San Francisco, or even the other cities that had been done,” Retzloff said.
Retzloff said the difference in Detroit’s gay history includes all of Metro Detroit – inner city and suburbs. Gay bars in the city get a lot of their clientele from those who live in the suburbs.
Detroit was home to many different gay advocacy organizations. The first organization lasted about 17 months, and produced one of the first gay generated newsletters.
The second organization was called One in Detroit.
“One in Detroit was kind of this organization that actually bridged Stonewall and Gay Liberation,” Retzloff said. “And they were the old fogies in the early 1970s.”
He added that it was in 1970 that the gay liberation movement started in Detroit and soon became the gay liberation front in part with Stonewall.
Retzloff said he chose the timeline of 1945-1985 for his dissertation because WWII is considered a major turning point in the gay subculture nationally. The end point for 1985 was chosen because the mid-1980s saw the end of the trend toward the suburbs in Detroit and the early impact of AIDS.

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