Michael Crawford

DC community outraged at mayor's silence after gay man murdered

Filed By Michael Crawford | December 18, 2008 1:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Adrian Fenty, anti-gay violence, Duval Martins, hate crimes against LGBT people

The DC LGBT community is outraged over the latest murdered of a gay person and the absolute silence coming from the DC's mayor Adrian Fenty over the increasing level of violence affecting LGBT people. Durval V. Martins

Thumbnail image for Durval Martins.jpgA 35-year-old gay man was shot in the head and killed shortly after 3 a.m. Tuesday at 11th and Q streets, N.W., while walking home from the Fox & Hound, a restaurant and bar near Dupont Circle, according to D.C. police.

The victim was identified as Durval V. Martins of the 200 block of Bates Street, N.W. A police statement said Martins also suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the body.

Acting Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the police's Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, said the motive for the killing was unknown but could have been robbery. He noted that officers found the victim's wallet in his hand.

Martins' credit cards, cash, cell phone, and jewelry were still in his possession, Parson said.

After the jump how you can contact the mayor to express your outrage...

Call or email Mayor Adrian Fenty NOW to urge him to meet with the LGBT community and to lay out his strategy for making our community safer for everyone.

You can email the mayor at Adrian.Fenty@dc.gov or call 311.

Yesterday, Gay and Lesbians Opposing Violence, a program of the DC Center, sent the following letter to Mayor Adrian Fenty requesting a meeting to discuss the rising incidents of violence against LGBT people in the DC.

Mr. Mayor:

Over the past several months, members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) community have become increasingly concerned with violent crime that seems to be targeting our community. Just yesterday, a man named Duval Martins was shot to death on his way home from visiting gay bars on the popular 17th Street strip.

GLOV (Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence) has requested on numerous occasions through your office to meet with you, but we have been repeatedly informed that you are not interested in a meeting at this time. We write to ask that you reconsider. The community is nervous and on edge, as violence around us continues to increase.

We have met with the Police, the United States Attorney's Office, community organizations, and members of the City Council (the City Council even had a Hearing on Hate Crimes last Friday), but we have not heard from our Mayor.

This is not acceptable. We need to meet with you to present our concerns personally, to hear that you understand the issues, to learn what your plans are to address them, and to see how we can all - city agencies, the police, the prosecutors, community organizations, and business leaders - can work together to end the hate-filled violence that is plaguing our community.

We would like to ask again that you convene an urgent meeting to address these issues, and that you include the Chief of Police, someone from the US Attorney's Office, representatives of the City Council, and other city and community leaders who are focused on this issue. We need your leadership at this time, and we need to know that you are listening.

Sincerely,

Chris Farris
Todd Metrokin
Co-Chairs
GLOV

To date, Mayor Fenty has shown little interest in meeting with the LGBT community or dealing with LGBT issues other than an occasional appearance at Capitol Pride and the city's annual High Heel Race.

This lack of response from the mayor has alarmed LGBT residents of the District who strongly supported him in his race for mayor.

There have been far too many incidents of violent crimes directed at members of the LGBT community in recent months - including several which have resulted in victims' death. Mayor Fenty spent a good deal of time campaigning in LGBT households and neighborhoods during his election - but has yet to come forward to aggressively deal with these tragic violent incidents head on that continue to affect LGBT residents. How many more people have to be injured or killed before he finally speaks up?

The police department currently have few clues to who murdered Martins and why. They are offering $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer. If you have any information, please contact the police as soon as possible.


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