August Provost | Crime | Military | News

Gay Camp Pendleton Sailor Found Dead on Base in Apparent Homicide


August Provost, a 29-year-old sailor, was found dead in a guard shack Tuesday. Navy officials, who have a "person of interest" in custody, are investigating it as a homicide. Local gay activists say the case should also be investigated as a hate crime.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports:

Pendleton "The body of Seaman August Provost of Houston, Texas, was discovered about 3:30 a.m. on the western edge of the base, said Doug Sayers, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest. An autopsy was completed yesterday, but authorities were waiting for results of toxicology tests to determine a cause of death. A 'person of interest' was being held in the Navy brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. No charges have been filed. The death has local gay activists calling for a formal investigation into whether Provost was slain because of his sexual orientation. 'We're definitely monitoring this and trust and hope the military will investigate this in the professional way it should,' said Nicole Murray-Ramirez, chairman of San Diego's Human Rights Commission. Murray-Rameriz also has contacted Reps. Susan Davis and Bob Filner, asking that they make official inquiries to the military concerning an investigation."

The paper adds: "The Navy would not comment on whether Provost's orientation had anything to do with the death. 'While 'Don't ask, Don't tell' is in place, anybody in the military who is a homosexual has no place to go to get assistance or counseling,' said Ben Gomez of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, an advocacy group for gays in the military. Provost's boyfriend, Kaether Cordero, said yesterday that Provost was openly gay but kept his private life quiet for the most part. 'People who he was friends with, I knew that they knew,' Cordero said from Houston. 'He didn't care that they knew. He trusted them.' Provost had recently complained to his family that someone was harassing and bothering him, and they advised him to tell his supervisor, said his sister, Akalia."

News reports from NBC San Diego and KUSI, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. WTF! "Don't ask, don't tell" anyone that I'm going to kill you because you're gay.

    Have we met the violence threshold yet

    Posted by: RONTEX | Jul 2, 2009 8:34:29 AM

  2. My Goodness,

    As this is NOT SURPRISING Pres Obama please issue a STOP to this D.A.D.T shit. When murder begins to play a part in this. OH NO somethings gotta give and this is so sad. To serve for your country and get killed while serving from felow soldiers and NOT IN COMBAT???


    This is all becoming too much!

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER | Jul 2, 2009 8:37:15 AM

  3. FACTS: Heterosexual male identity is the most delicate thing known in existance. Heterosexuals are also troublemakers. Those two factors are a dangerous combination.

    I'm sure the killer(s) had set up August's murder because his mere presence "threatened their masculinity", they couldn't deal with a gay man doing every thing they did on a level playing field. Heterosexuals males believe they are the gatekeepers and owners of masculinity.  August entered a profession seen as masculine and it shook a few heterosexual males' identity so much they felt they had to kill him.  Anyway, I hope August gets the justice he deserves, everyone needs to press the military to actually investigate and prosecute this murder with truth.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 2, 2009 11:26:49 AM

  4. I'm not trying to be snide here, but shouldn't we know the details of the case before we label it a hate crime?

    Posted by: Pekemo | Jul 2, 2009 12:30:08 PM

  5. I want the removal of DADT like everyone else, but I'm not sure what that has to do with this case. Whoever did this has personal issues. How would the removal of DADT have changed that? As a matter of fact, removing it may have hastened the killer's actions. Who knows? His own boyfriend said he was surrounded by people who knew he was gay and he trusted them. Sounds like they didn't have a problem with his sexuality. Like Pekemo said, let's wait for the facts.

    Posted by: Q | Jul 2, 2009 1:03:14 PM

  6. Everyone here who knows me knows that I loathe the playing of the race card...


    I wonder if there would be more commenters who who would flat out jump to the conclusion that this was a hate crime (in spite of the lack of evidence) if Mr. Provost were white.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 2, 2009 2:30:31 PM

  7. Thank you, Chi Kev. We've come to expect it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jul 2, 2009 3:36:33 PM

  8. @Derrick

    See, the upsetting thing is we know that the military is accepting white supremacists and neo-Nazi. Both blacks and gays are vulnerable.

    And if you are known to be black AND gay? I think that would be known as a "twofer" or something like that.

    Kudos to the San Diego gay activist community for following this story up.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 2, 2009 3:42:32 PM

  9. you guys are retarded and have no idea what your talking about. Wait till the full story comes out before you start jumping to conclusions. everyone has been miss informed.

    Posted by: acu5 guy | Jul 2, 2009 6:00:35 PM

  10. This is to Derrick.

    I am a combat veteran. I am not a white supremacist. Blacks and Hispanics make up the majority of the military. Nothing at all wrong with that. Alot of them are my friends and family. Yes its sad to see this type of crime and those who did it should be held accountable to the highest degree like everyone else.

    Posted by: Shane | Jul 2, 2009 6:14:08 PM

  11. I agree with Shane.
    I also belive The military has become damaged over the past 8 years with an influx of ex-felons and low IQ nimrods, of all races and religions, thanks to Bush's illegal money-making operation in Iraq.

    All this to bump up Haliburton's stock? They should be embarassed.

    Even if we wait for the inquiry, which we'll probably never hear about if it is a Race/Orientation murder, let's not jump to conclusions just yet.

    I know we all can't help but feel that it is cut-and-dry from the initial reports.

    Posted by: Roger ramjett | Jul 2, 2009 6:39:07 PM

  12. @Shane

    I never said that you were a white supremacist in fact I agree wholeheartedly with what you said. A full investigation has to be conducted.

    My observation simply is this: Based on my previous observations of this and other message boards in the blogosphere, yes, it is my opinion that we would see at 40 comments on this story right now jumping to all sorts of conclusions based on facts not yet in evidence IF Mr. Provost were white.

    Had the victim of the anti-gay hate speech in Minneapolis been black, you probably would have seen the same amount of comments there as are on this post. Then again, had that victim in Minneapolis been black, he probably would have been beaten down as well as verbally assulted.

    I am just noting a trend, which you can go back through many different archives on many different blogs and check.

    As most know on towleroad, I very very rarely play a race card in matters like this. But the disparity happens all too frequently.

    And it has absolutely nothing to do with Andy Towle, he just posts the news as it is (and he does a damn good job of it).

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 2, 2009 9:31:16 PM

  13. He was killed because he was Gay.ooooohhhhhhh my goodness

    Posted by: mdeals | Jul 3, 2009 12:59:32 AM

  14. And Thank You MDEALS,

    That makes it a HATE CRIME!

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER | Jul 3, 2009 1:53:23 AM

  15. This is what we have because of DADT. Situations where a person feels justified attacking someone because they are LGBT. It's an outrage.

    Posted by: JoeT | Jul 3, 2009 10:24:03 AM

  16. @JoeT

    You are absolutely right.

    If he was being threatened or harrassed by someone, then Mr. Provost should have been able to go to his superiors.

    But under DADT, if he had gone to his superiors, his naval career was finished.

    That in spite of the fact that it seems that most people knew, even in the Navy, his sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Jul 3, 2009 11:38:40 AM

  17. In combat roles, WHITE MALES disproportionately represent.

    In Special Forces WHITE MALES disproportionately represent.

    "But a close examination of Pentagon statistics suggests that at least some of the conventional wisdom about who is most at risk during wartime is misleading. For example, although blacks account for 26% of Army troops, they make up a much smaller percentage of those in front-line combat units, the most likely to be killed or injured in a conventional war.'

    And there are more Latinas than Latinos in the U.S. Armed Forces

    Posted by: Flaco | Jul 4, 2009 10:43:00 PM

  18. You guys don't know all the facts. It's typical on gay blogs and sites for stereotypical 'gay bashing' conclusions to be automatically concluded. The real world is much more complex than many posters on this site would suggest. In this poor dudes case it may be the one and only reason he's dead, but this isn't clear yet.

    I remember when poor Matt Shepard got beaten and killed, it came out after a fashion that he was a druggie just like the punks who killed him, and that he'd met them before. Many professional gay blogs and sites simply ignore hard facts, or try their best to mitigate them. This is true of other individuals, groups, blogs, that are primarily single-issue driven.

    I've been in fights where anti-homo words were exchanged where I know sexuality wasn't the primary motivator, and I also know people who've been in fights and assaulted that were characterized as gay bashings when in reality they were much more complex than that.

    Like many, I also know people who are legit victims of gay bashings. I have been picked on for being gay, so of course it occurs, but crying wolf only minimizes real gay bashings and other hate based assaults.

    Posted by: Flaco | Jul 4, 2009 10:58:06 PM

  19. 'See, the upsetting thing is we know that the military is accepting white supremacists and neo-Nazi. Both blacks and gays are vulnerable.'

    With all due respect, racist, non-white racial and ethnic based violent gangs have also infiltrated the U.S. Armed Forces. In fact, this has become a serious problem

    Posted by: Flaco | Jul 4, 2009 11:04:58 PM

  20. "You guys don't know all the facts. It's typical on gay blogs and sites for stereotypical 'gay bashing' conclusions to be automatically concluded."

    So, us "guys" on gay blogs don't know the facts, but somehow, magically, you do? And you acknowledge that gay bashings can occur because you have been "picked on" for being gay? Isn't that generous of you. Are you sure you weren't picked on for being a narcissist? As for Matt Shepard being "just like the punks who killed him." Really? Did Matt Shepard beat someone to a pulp and leave them to die on a fence in the middle of nowhere? But I guess it's not a hate crime since you haven't personally experienced it. Perhaps the "single-issue driven" might apply best to your ego?

    Posted by: Ernie | Jul 5, 2009 11:22:41 AM

  21. Ernie ---

    I NEVER said Matthew Shepard was 'just like the punks who killed him'; I DID say he was a druggie, and was familiar with the dudes that murdered him previous to his murder.

    And no, I don't 'magically', or in any other fashion, know all the facts surrounding Seaman Provost's death, and NEVER claimed or implied I did. It is wrong to jump to conclusions is what I'm trying to get across (unless something is glaringly obvious).

    Grow up Ernie.

    Posted by: Flaco | Jul 6, 2009 4:34:31 AM

  22. 'Just like the punks who killed him' was taken out of context by Ernie. I didn't make that clear above.

    Posted by: Flaco | Jul 6, 2009 4:42:33 AM

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