Friday Night Anti-Gay Hate Crime Murder in Syracuse, New York

Dwight DeLee, a 20-year-old Syracuse man attending a Friday night party where guests were making anti-gay remarks about two of the party’s invited guests, brothers Mark and Moses Cannon, stepped out of the party when the Cannons arrived and shot Moses, who identified as female and was known as to friends and family as ‘Teish’, point-blank with a 22-caliber rifle. Both Cannon siblings are gay Mark was grazed by the bullet and Teish was killed:

Mosescannon“Cannon, 22, and his brother, Mark Cannon, 18, both of 404 Arthur St., were shot as they sat in a car parked in front of 411 Seymour St., where they had been invited to a party. The bullet grazed the left arm of Mark Cannon, who was in the driver’s seat, and hit Moses Cannon in the chest, police said. Police have charged DeLee, 20, of 420 Gifford St., with second-degree murder. DeLee went into the home at 411 Seymour St. to get the rifle after guests at the party started “making profane and vulgar comments in regards to the sexual preference of our two victims,’ police Chief Gary Miguel said. ‘There was no previous argument between these individuals, there was no previous fight, there was no bad blood,’ Miguel said. ‘Our suspect took a rifle and shot and killed this person, also wounding his brother, for the sole reason he didn’t care for the sexual preference of our victim. Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that a sad situation that that’s the sole reason why? I talk to you about this atmosphere of violence and that certain individuals believe that violence is the answer no matter what, and here’s just another example,’ Miguel said.”

Cannon family and friends accepted Teish’s choice of gender identification and sexual orientation.

Teish[Roxanne Green, the victim’s mother] talked lovingly about Moses Cannon and said she accepted who he was. ‘That’s the life he chose. That’s who he wanted to be,’ Green said about her son. Green said her son was very outgoing. ‘He got along with everybody,’ she said. Cannon’s family accepted his sexual orientation. Pictures of Cannon in women’s clothing were on display in the family’s living room, and the family selected one for The Post-Standard to publish. Often when family members spoke of Cannon, they used ‘she’ to refer to him. Dante Haynes, who described himself as Cannon’s lover, sat at the dining room table tonight with Cannon’s parents and family. ‘Teish’ is tattooed on his right forearm. ‘I loved her, too,’ Haynes said. ‘She will be missed.’…’Teish was loving, caring and compassionate,’ said Rhonda Gary, Cannon’s aunt. ‘She carried herself with respect.'”

The incident has not yet been classified as a hate crime, although that looks likely.

Syracuse man was killed for being gay, police say [syracuse now]
Police: Shooting Victim Targeted For Being Gay – VIDEO [wtvh]
Family says Moses Cannon was shot because he was gay, and his killing should be treated as a hate crime [syracuse now]


  1. says



    I won’t because I know there’s no point in the violence.

    I wish all police were like Mr. Miguel. Here in Vegas the police would just pass this off as “what do you expect?”, which is why I didn’t report the things that were said to me. I blogged about it and tried to get it out of my system that way.

    Now, my blood is boiling again!

    My heart goes out to her family.

  2. Cody says

    I say we should react with more protests. This is absolutely disgusting and remember that this could happen to any of us…

    This hate of gay people is absolutely unacceptable and the perpetuation of this hate by straight people all over the US is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable.

    What is the point that we have to get to to say that enough is enough?

  3. David D. says

    I find it astonishing that anyone feels the need to put a question mark behind the words “hate crime” in this case.

  4. Sebastian says

    Yet a new week and yet another sad story of loss of life due to hate, I am so tired of this. My thoughts are with the family in their time of loss.

  5. soulbrotha says

    David D., you took the words right outta my mouth!

    Damn, what a tragic waste of life. Condolences to the family.

  6. Derrick from Philly says

    I understand the majority of gay men fighting for full civil rights, and the outrage over the passage of Proposition 8, but this incident illustrates the problems of survival that so many marginalized gay people face–triple marginalization (race, sexual orientation & gender role identity…damn, triple wammy!).

    It’s hard to think about Proposition 8, marriage rights, ENDA, DADT, DOMA, etc., when your life is in danger every time you walk out the front door.

    As noticeable as Teish was to violent homophobes in her community, she was invisible to the Dan Savage’s and Andrew Sullivan’s; the existence of people like Teish Cannon is not their concern, but people like Miss Teish’s murderer do catch their attention because he represents the homophobic black community…but Miss Teish was the victim of that black homophobia–not Dan Savage, not Andrew Sullivan. A vote in California aint the same as bullet wound in the chest, but Savage and Sullivan aint got to worrry about that.

    Miss Teish was noticed for a moment, but “her kind” will be invisible to other gay folks again…as usual.

  7. Tragic says

    I prefer the following headline, “Straight Supremacists slaughter gay man”

    My thoughts go out to the family.

  8. Steve says

    Derrick, while I’m sure you’re just a mormon troll, I have to ask. Is your argument that since we haven’t solved all the problems in the world we can’t work to make it a better place?

    Exactly what order would you like to address the injustices, since apparently we are doing it in an order that you disprove of.

  9. says

    That is 32 gay hate crime murders that we know of for 2008 alone. Please help us stop the hate.

    Please see and help as you can. Cynthia Nixon recently came aboard our advisory board and we have done outreach now at over 25 schools. We have much more work to do.

    Thank you for your help.

    BOD, Gay American Heroes Foundation

  10. Derrick from Philly says


    you shouldn’t be “sure” of anything…

    Believe it or not, we’ve got Mormons recruiting in black neighborhoods in Philadelphia…blond white boys weearing dress shirts & straight leg slacks. I rarely interact with them, but I guess they may care as much about the fate of black drag queens as you do.

  11. Wheezy says

    This is awful but I’m glad they 1.) looked for the suspect 2.) arrested the suspect 3.) are going to do their damnedest to keep the suspect locked up for the rest of his life. In other places in the US this would not even be considered a crime and Miss Teish Cannon would never get any kind of justice.

    p.s. On another note who else thinks this lady’s family and friends are awesome? They fully loved and supported the Cannon brothers and are what a loving, supportive family should be to their GLBTQ children. At least the poor woman had that before she died. It makes me sad for all the GLBTQ children who die and NEVER have their family & friends love and support.

  12. Luke says

    Thanks Derrick for keeping it real all the time and Chip for the link, and my prayers to the victims family.

  13. ThomD says

    When I read the news of this over the weekend, I was saddened.

    I commend Chief Miguel for his words. They are a clear message to the prosecutor’s office in the city that this is to be handled as a hate crime.

    I will be interested to see if the Conservative Republican who is the DA for the City of Syracuse prosecutes it as one.

    I pray for his family and friends, and I hope to see the condemnation of this crime, like so many others, denounced by the churches in the area.

  14. steve says

    Derrick, I am very confused how you have come to any of your conclusions. Your posts are nothing but personal attacks that appear designed to draw out dissent inside the gay rights community. If you’re not a troll, then I have to wonder exactly who’s side are you on?

    Again, I ask, since you appear to think that we’re attacking the injustices of this world in the wrong order, what order would you prefer?

  15. thxderrick says

    Derrick from Philly, you’re one of the reasons I keep returning to Towleroad. So, thank you. Lately I keep hearing so much about Prop 8, but the only thing I keep thinking about is how gay marriage only addresses the smallest of the queer community, the part that already has enormous privilege.

    Teish wasn’t gay, Teish was a trans person of color. It’s interesting to me why the paper and folks want to keep on replicating the idea that Teish was one of the “Cannon brothers,” as if Teish and her family who use female pronouns for her made a mistake, as if only by being male and gay can we respond appropriately to this violence. In Memphis the other day, Duanna Johnson, a black transwoman who survived transphobic police violence earlier in the year, was also murdered.

    Where’s the outrage? Where’s the community commitment? Queer values are all out of wack when we spend TONS of time and money trying to fix ‘marriage,’ a totally broken system for the distribution of rights and benefits, instead of working to build a new system that respects and represents the lived realities of ALL members of our communities. This, of course, means extending the definition of what it means to be in our community and what family means — to include poor people, people of color, single people, single parents, people with multiple partners, siblings, friends.

    We’ve come to a point where folks recognize that it’s wrong to kill somebody cuz they’re gay — but we can’t leave behind our queer brethren and those with gender variant identities. I don’t see enough of this recognition in our communities as we aim for “same-sex” marriage, a really very gender normative form of legal recognition.

    I’m sad for this woman’s family and send my condolences.

  16. Derrick from Philly says

    “Your posts are nothing but personal attacks that appear designed to draw out dissent inside the gay rights community. If you’re not a troll, then I have to wonder exactly who’s side are you on?”

    Oh, STEVE, did you pay attention to any of the debate last week over Proposition 8 and the criticism of American Blacks? Yes, I’m still carrying that heavy chip on my shoulder.

    Personal attack? You called me a troll, honey. Aren’t trolls ugly?

    Thank you, THX and Luke; there are segments of gay communities who are invisible in the struggle for human/civil rights. Remember the struggle over ENDA within the gay communities? People like Miss Teish Cannon were not going to be included in ENDA.


    I’m still furious at well-known white gay folks like Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan who helped fan flames of racial hatred after the election. They could NOT care about people like Miss Teish, and they never will.

    I aint got nothin’ personal against you as an individual…’till I convert to Mormonism.

  17. anon says

    That article was so poorly written I wasn’t sure what happened to whom. Syracuse as a location of a hate crime makes perfect sense, the city has nothing going for it.

  18. ThomD says

    The latest news is that bail has been denied to the suspect. As of now, the charge is second degree murder.

    And Derrick, I’ll pretty much skip the comment about my hometown other than to tell you to visit. It’s a pretty vibrant city, lousy SU Football aside.

  19. Derrick from Philly says

    Oh, no, THOMD, that wasn’t me. I get in enough trouble with my big without putting down someone’s hometown.

    If people like Miss Teish Cannon’s family could be so loving and supportive and live in Syracuse, then Syracuse can’t be all that bad.

  20. says

    It’s easy to forget, during this intense focus on marriage, that the most vulnerable among us risk losing not only their rights but their lives. We will have the right to marry one day, but until every trans person (or person targeted because of perceived gender nonconformity) can live his or her life freely and openly, our work will not be done. Teish’s supportive family shouldn’t have to be going thru this. RIP, T.

    And, Steve, Derrick a troll? Are you serious? He’s probably the least troll-like person on Towleroad with consistently valuable insights. Do some homework, honey, before you go spouting off nonsense.

  21. Kev says

    This is sad and doesnt suprise me. The UpState NY cities have always had more than their share of serious violence and racial bigotry. I grew up in Central NY and was in college at SU and SUNY ESF in the early and mid ’80s. The town and region wasn’t very friendly to the ‘mos back then but a lot of the frat boys were bi/gay and on the DL.

    This kids awesome family kicks the shit out of my puckered up intollerant white bread middle class WASP family which turned it up a notch and have became born agains and uber conservatives. They’re still there spreading the hate.
    The PNW suits me fine although we have our own idiot conservatives to deal with.

  22. says

    Teisha identified as a woman.
    It is fucking disrespectful and appropriating of y’all to call HER a gay man.
    Transgender Day Of Remembrance is coming up and dozens of names have already been added to the list. Duanna Johnson, Ms. Cannon, Aimee Wilcoxson, have all been killed this month alone. And whats more, I just heard from a friend that another woman was murdered in Turkey for being a trans* woman.
    The very least y’all could do is to call these women by their names and use the correct pronouns instead of appropriating their deaths and pretending they are gay men!

  23. says

    Indeed. Very disappointing to come here and see even people who identify her by the pronouns her family used still identifying and claiming her as a gay man. Surely she deserves respect and outrage as herself?

  24. Scott says

    Take a moment to contact Syracuse Chief of Police Miguel and let him know how much his words of support and understanding mean to our community. I think his statements are incredibly supportive. Unfortunately there is no e-mail address. The contact info (from the Syracuse Police Department website) is:

    Chief Gary Miguel
    Syracuse Police Department
    511 S. State Street
    Syracuse, NY 13202

    Telephone: (315) 442-5200
    Fax: (315) 442-5198