Main | Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Gay Youth Center Vandalism Committed By Former Clients

Now we know why it wasn't classified a hate crime. According to David Kilminick, the executive director of the Long Island gay youth center, two of the men arrested for last week's vandalism are former clients of the center. From his email:
Over three years ago, two of the four people arrested were former clients of LIGALY. The individuals regularly displayed inappropriate and disruptive behavior toward staff and other clients. This behavior made many of our clients feel unsafe, and the organization responded appropriately by discharging them from our services. We are saddened to hear that the individuals arrested continued to act out in hatred and violence, as these attacks illustrate.

While the vandalism is no longer being investigated as a bias crime, we feel that the investigation and the attention paid to these crimes by public officials and media was appropriate. Vandalism of this magnitude is intended to send a message of fear. The Center stands as the most public declaration of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender pride on Long Island. As the most visible symbol of GLBT presence and pride, the vandalism was indeed interpreted and felt as an attack on these already vulnerable communities.
Kilminick goes on to thank local law enforcement for their prompt and thorough investigation.

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