Family members and gay rights advocates are calling for the murder of Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian to be investigated as a hate crime.

Mississippi congressman Bennie Thompson has released a statement calling on the FBI to get involved.

Meanwhile, the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading civil rights organization for LGBTQ people of color, has filed a formal request to the Department of Justice.

From USA Today:

“NBJC is standing firmly with Marco McMillian’s family so that their concerns do not fall on deaf ears,” coalition Executive Director and CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks wrote in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

“The details of this case just aren’t adding up,” Lettman-Hicks said. “Whether on the basis of race or sexual orientation, hate is hate. If there is the possibility that McMillian was murdered because of who he is, that warrants the Department of Justice’s involvement.”

Mississippi’s hate-crime law covers race, religion and gender but not sexual orientation. Local and state agencies can seek assistance to pursue a federal hate crime, but they haven’t done so in this case.

As we’ve previously reported, Marco McMillian was found dead near a Mississippi River levee. He had been beaten, dragged, and set on fire.

22 year-old Lawrence Reed has been arrested and charged with the murder after he was found in the wreckage of McMillian’s crashed SUV on US Highway 49.



Thoughts on the Marco McMillian tragedy?

Should this case be investigated as a hate crime?

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