Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lawrence King, shot for being gay

Victim's family say they will donate teen's organs;
14-year-old shooter to be tried as an adult

SF Gate story

Prosecutors planned to seek to have the 14-year-old tried as an adult and expected the charges to be upgraded when victim Lawrence King was taken off the ventilator for organ donation, said Ventura County Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox.

"It is inevitable that this is going to become a murder case," she said. Fox said she could not discuss the facts behind the allegation of a hate crime because those details of the case have not been publicly disclosed.

Oxnard police have not specified a motive but said there appeared to be a personal dispute between the two. Several classmates have said King would wear feminine attire. King sometimes came to school wearing makeup and high heels, eighth-grader Nicholas Cortez, 14, told The Associated Press.

Another eighth-grader, Michael Sweeney, said King's appearance was "freaking the guys out," the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. "He would come to school in high-heeled boots, makeup, jewelry and painted nails — the whole thing," Sweeney told the Times.

King was shot in the head Tuesday morning during a class at E.O. Green Junior High in Oxnard, police said. More than 20 other students were in the room at the time.

Police said a handgun was used in the attack and the 14-year-old was quickly arrested near the school. King was pronounced brain dead at St. John's Regional Medical Center on Wednesday, Ventura County Senior Deputy Medical Examiner Craig Stevens said. Doctors planned to remove some of his organs for donation Thursday, Stevens said.

"I think that's what he would have wanted," King's father, Greg King, told the Ventura County Star. Lawrence King had been under the care of the county foster care system and lived at Casa Pacifica, a nearby center for abused and neglected children, said Steve Elson, the facility's chief executive.

"We're are all stunned and it's just an unspeakable tragedy," Elson said Wednesday. "This is a very big traumatic experience for all of us."

The Gay-Straight Alliance Network, the Transgender Law Center, and Equality California have issued a joint statement decrying King's shooting. "With young people coming out at younger ages, our schools -- especially our junior highs and middle schools -- need to be proactive about teaching respect for diversity based on sexual orientation and gender identity," said Carolyn Laub, executive director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. "The tragic death of Lawrence King is a wake-up call for our schools to better protect students from harassment at school. As a society, we can prevent this kind of violence from happening."

Really? I don't know how it can be prevented as long as schools allow harassment and violence.

The shooting was the fourth at a U.S. school within a week.

On Feb. 8, a woman shot two fellow students to death before committing suicide at Louisiana Technical College in Baton Rouge. In Memphis, Tenn., a 17-year-old is accused of shooting and critically wounding a fellow student Monday during a high school gym class, and the 15-year-old victim of a shooting at an Oxnard, Calif., junior high school has been declared brain dead.

Oh, and right now, DeKalb University had 18 people shot by a crazed gunman, who allegedly shot himself after injuring 18.

CNN has pics and more info.

This is some sick stuff, and it seems like it's going to become a regular occurrence in our gun-happy, meds-addicted sociopathic-teenland 21st century.


Anonymous said...

I think it's very sad that a poor little boy from a foster home had his life cut short...all for being gay or transgendered? My prayers go out to him....wherever he may be now...

Anonymous said...

first let me say I don't condone what happened, it is in excusable at every level and horrific.

Now I will state what no one will say in our "politically correct society".

On the other hand, why do gays insist on being "in your face" with their lifestyle? This child, in middle school wasn't just gay, he chose to push the envelope in a big way, i.e. wearing heels, makeup, jewelry, painted nails etc. Clearly being in with a bunch of boys in a rural community where identity issues are emerging is making an intentional statement designed to provoke a reaction. Unfortunately the reaction was what it was, but the victim clearly was looking for a reaction.

In addition, my children have dress codes at school and will be sent home for violation. My son is not allowed to wear a baseball cap during school hours... yes a baseball cap, one would argue this is a symbol of his "boyness" and my daughter can't wear spaghetti strap tops or show a bare midriff. As we are in California, I'm sure the school there had similar dress codes, however no one sent that child home, probably "in fear" of the gay backlash that everyone is afraid to say anything to.

Why is it that the gay community "insist" we accept their "lifestyle" and are in your face with it constantly. "Gay Pride" parades etc, I mean we don't have "Heterosexual Parades" simulating every type of sexual conduct and behaviour on the tv screens for everyone to see.

In concluding, once again I think what happened is horrific and in no way is justifiable, however common sense is not to wave a red flag to a bull. I'm not going to stand up in front of a bunch of hell's angels and state "bikers are pussies". If I do I can't say, after I've been beaten to a pulp, why did this tragedy happen? Those terrible bikers for not accepting "my freedom of speech". No, if you want to push the envelope and elecit a reaction, you most certainly will get a reaction, and sadly, every now and then, you miscalculate and the odds aren't in your favor and this happens. Instead of being shocked by the shooters reaction, people should be amazed at peoples "tolerance" that it hasn't happened more often. All things considered, people have been pretty tolerant to ignore the obvious, and yes aggressive, in your face confrontations.

Anonymous said...

The fact that this happened is horrific, and it terrifies me that it happened in a middle school, no less. however, i disagree with whoever says gays insist on being "in your face". some people simply do not feel comfortable wearing what they are expected to wear. i have been shoved into lockers and spit at for holding hands with my girlfriend. i'm not saying people should hide and i'm not saying people should have it shoved in their faces. all i want is tolerance.