Rashawn & Beyond: Anti-Violence News for Queer People of Color

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Fund aims to establish a sustainable tribute to Rashawn that promotes critical thought about the impact of violence and intolerance, particularly upon queer communities of African descent.

Through this blog, we provide action alerts, event postings and breaking news as a means of informing these communities in ways that enable them to combat racism and homophobia.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Hate-crime rap for teen in fatal stab

Source: New York Daily News

A 17-year-old held in the stabbing death of a Brooklyn man plunged a knife into the victim's back because he was gay, authorities said yesterday.

An indictment filed yesterday added a hate-crime rap to the murder charge against Omar Willock - crimes punishable by life in prison.

Willock, who is being held without bail in the slaying of Roberto Duncanson, 20, allegedly snarled at the victim, "What are you looking at, f----r?" when their paths crossed on St. Marks Ave. in Crown Heights on May 12, sources said.

Willock unleashed a salvo of anti-gay slurs because he thought Duncanson was flirting with him, they said.

Although Duncanson walked away and stopped to see a cousin near Brooklyn Ave., Willock was waiting with more insults when the victim emerged from the apartment, cops said.

Heated words turned into a fight, and the teen allegedly whipped out a knife and stabbed Duncanson four times. Duncanson died at Kings County Hospital - where he was born - about an hour later.

"He had the heart of a lion," Karen Sterling-Palmer said of her charismatic son, who managed the photo department of a Manhattan CVS drugstore. "Roberto was a respectful kid, but if you offended him, he would retaliate."

The mother said her son never told her he was gay and that she didn't believe he was.

But co-workers at the Chelsea CVS said Duncanson's homosexuality was common knowledge and he didn't try to hide it.

"He was loud, crazy, loved his fashion and liked to have fun," said Sara Perry, 19. "He was a very optimistic person, too. He always put a smile your face."

Perry added that Duncanson had made a lot of friends during his 18 months at the store, "and now we're all affected by his death. There's a silence here."

"You know he was supposed to go to Miami at the beginning of this month to celebrate his 21st birthday. And he was planning to go back to school to be an X-ray technician. This was just horrible, very horrible."

Oren Yaniv, Kerry Burke and Robert F. Moore


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