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.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Memorializing Michael Sandy

Dear Friends and Family of Michael Sandy,

Attached is an invitation for a fund raising event in order to facilitate a permanent memorial at Plumb Beach to mark and honor Michael Sandy.

As much as this monument will honor Michael, we hope it will also honor others who have lost their lives due to crimes of hate. We at the Michael Sandy Foundation want to take this opportunity to invite anyone and everyone to think about what this monument might look like. There are many examples of monuments with similar messages around the country, monuments or sculpture that represent lives lost.

One such sculpture, The Vietnam War Memorial is one that was a landmark sculptural concept and one of the first of it's kind to honor the lives of soldiers who risked their lives for the safety of America; without using soldiers or war images in it's medium. Maya Lin thought completely out of the box when she entered her concept into competition and because of this, it won and has since changed how monuments like these are created, thought of and interact with people and the landscape.

As a friend and family or causal supporter, we invite you to think of this monument. What should it look like, how will it best represent Michael and others. Perhaps this too will become a National Monument, or even just a symbol of victims of Hate. If you wish to submit any sketches, drawings or simple ideas please e-mail them to: michaelsandyfoundation@gmail.com

We hope to have this created and built by October 12, 2009 to mark the third anniversary of Michael's death - so we have lots of work to do. Please send all ideas and notes by February 13th to The Micheal Sandy Foundation board members (michaelsandyfoundation@gmail.com)

Thank you again for all your support.

With every good wish,

Patrick McBride
President, Michael Sandy Foundation

Friday, February 06, 2009

Judge Okays Evidence in 2007 Brooklyn Gay Killing

Source: Gay City News

The Brooklyn district attorney can use results from a line-up and photo identification in its case against the accused killer of Roberto Duncanson, a 20-year-old gay man stabbed to death in 2007.

"I find that the photo arrays were proper, that the line-up was also proper," Judge Neil J. Firetog said on February 5 in denying a defense motion to suppress that evidence against Omar Willock, an 18-year-old who faces two counts of second-degree murder, one as a hate crime, in the killing.

Allegedly, Duncanson encountered Willock on the street in Brooklyn's Crown Heights section just before 1 a.m. on May 12. Willock, who used anti-gay slurs, accused Duncanson of looking at him. When Duncanson again passed by, a fight ensued and Willock stabbed Duncanson four times in the back, according to a 2007 statement from the district attorney.

Duncanson died roughly one hour later at Kings County Hospital.

The hearing revealed that the prosecution may have overcome what could have been a serious obstacle in the case -- Omar has an identical twin named Omari and there is just a single witness who says Omar was the killer.

On May 14, that witness, a woman, came forward and identified Omar as the killer.

Read the full story here.