Marco McMillian, the gay Mississippi African-American mayoral candidate who was murdered late last month, was beaten, dragged, and set on fire, and his family is calling his murder a hate crime — and calling for it to be investigated as such.
“The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department, however, isn’t exploring that option, said its spokesman Will Rooker,” the Clarion-Ledger reports:
The department is leading the investigation with the help of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. MBI spokesman Warren Strain couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.
McMillian was beaten, dragged, and set afire before his body was found Wednesday near the Mississippi River, according to a statement the family issued late Sunday and which was confirmed Monday by family friend and Marco McMillian’s godfather, Carter Womack.
Womack also said the 33-year-old was found naked, bruised and swollen. The account was based on photographs the family saw, as well as two conversations it had with the coroner.
McMillian was called the first openly-gay Mississippi mayoral candidate by the Victory Fund.
The Clarion-Ledger adds:
“He was very concerned about his safety; people had tried to talk him out of the race,” Womack said. “The family feels this ought to be investigated a hate crime,” Womack said.
So too does Larry Nelson Sr., president and CEO of Victims Group of Violent Crimes in Jackson, who had spoken to McMillian just days before his death: “This was a hate crime. I don’t care if the perpetrator was black, white, or polka dotted.”
McMillian, pictured below with President Obama, had a very promising political career. He will be missed.
All images via MarcoMacMillian.com
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