Two men pled guilty on Tuesday to federal hate crime charges stemming from a series of attacks on African-Americans in Jackson, MS last year, including the murder of James Craig Anderson, according to CNN. William Kirk Montgomery, 23, and Jonathan Gaskamp, 20, were part of the group of young men responsible for Anderson’s violent death in June 2011. Montgomery was there the night that Darryl Dedmon, Jr. ran over Anderson with his truck after the group savagely beat the 49-year-old auto plant worker. Though uninvolved in Anderson’s murder, Gaskamp had participated in other, similar attacks around Jackson with the group. Both Montgomery and Gaskamp pled guilty to federal hate crimes charges this week. In total, five men from the group have been charged with crimes related to the attacks. Dedmon, John Aaron Rice and Dylan Butler all pled guilty to federal hate crime charges earlier this year. Dedmon was sentenced to life in prison and Rice and Butler face life sentences. More Arrests Possible Prosecutors on the case told CNN that even more arrests could be made as the investigation into the group’s repeated attacks around Jackson continues.
A slow and beautiful melody streams from Robert Bruey’s acoustic guitar as he steps up to the microphone. He clears his throat, and addresses the mourning crowd surrounding him. “I wrote this song after I heard about this [...] historical inaccuracy,” said the Long Island musician in a somber tone. “Marcelo didn’t run.” Clear and full of warmth, Bruey’s earthy voice transcends the silence at the vigil held on this biting cold November afternoon. Robert Bruey performs "Perdoname Hermano" at vigil on November 7, 2010, two years after Marcelo Lucero's death.
Marcelo Lucero's killer, Jeffrey Conroy, was convicted of manslaughter as a hate crime today in Suffolk County, NY. In these videos, Joselo Lucero describes what it has felt like for him and his family to live through the hearings and trials of the defendants charged with the hate-based killing of his brother. Since the tragic killing of Marcelo Lucero, Not In Our Town has been following the community of Patchogue, NY as it deals with issues of race, immigration, hate and intolerance. The upcoming feature documentary, Not In Our Town III, chronicles the efforts of Patchogue's diverse residents and leaders as they grapple with the aftereffects of the murder and begin to take action to make their community safe for everyone.
Tragedy Shapes Community Leadership Joselo Lucero never imagined that he would become a spokesperson and a symbol for community safety and immigrants’ rights. As he spoke Saturday night before the crowd gathered at the site of his brother’s murder one year earlier, the hundreds who had gathered despite inclement weather stood rapt.
A Family Member of a Transgender Victim Speaks Out Q & A with Imelda Guerrero Editor’s Note: In 2002, Gwen Araujo, a 17-year-old transgender teenager, was brutally beaten to death by a group of young men from Newark, California, when they discovered her transgender identity. Not long after her disappearance, her body was found in a shallow grave in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. As her family grieved the violent death of their loved one, the case captured the attention of the national media. NIOT Producer Kelly Whalen, who told Gwen’s story in “Not In Our Town Northern California: When Hate Happens Here,” spoke with one of Gwen’s aunts, Imelda Guerrero, about the support the family needed and received through the tragic experience.
A Student Reflects On a Peer's Murder and His Community's Response By Jeff Bryant