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Waterloo, Iowa Police Not Investigating Beating Death of Marcellus Andrews as Anti-Gay Hate Crime

Police are not investigating last Friday night's beating death of Waterloo, Iowa teen Marcellus Andrews as an anti-gay hate crime despite the fact that a feminization of his first name and the word "faggot" were reportedly used during the beating, the Des Moines Register reports:

Andrews However, authorities don't believe the killing was a hate crime, said Lt. Michael McNamee, Waterloo police spokesman. “We've done multiple interviews and we have heard those allegations, but this was not because of his persuasion or the perception of his persuasion,” McNamee said. “These were all people who knew each other, and there was some bad blood between the two parties involved.”

The disputes date back at least a year, and arguments escalated throughout Thursday and involved a vehicle being vandalized, McNamee said. “It all culminated in that area early Friday morning,” McNamee said.

Suspects have been identified in the case, but no arrests have been made, and no warrants have been sought, according to police.

An autopsy has confirmed that Andrews died of blunt force trauma to the head.

The Iowa Independent reports on the many vigils that are taking place in Andrews' memory:

Of the numerous vigils and demonstrations being planned, one is taking place in Cedar Rapids, a community roughly midway between the location of the attack and Andrews’ later death.

“In this time of political knashing and fighting for human rights … I think it’s time that our community says we are not going to stand by and watch this happen ever again … and mainly to stand in solidarity with our community to the north and most of with friends and family of Marcellus,” wrote the organizer of the Cedar Rapids Thursday evening candlelight vigil. The vigil, which will include a few brief statements, is slated for 8:30 to 10 p.m. at the Tree of the Five Seasons, near the 1st Avenue Bridge in downtown Cedar Rapids.

Another Facebook posting by Iowa Gay Advocacy asks for porch lights throughout the state and nation to be left on in memory of Andrews Thursday evening. A third page devoted to the memory of Andrews holds messages of condolences and shock.

Police Question Hate Crime Motive in Fatal Anti-Gay Attack on Marcellus Andrews, but Friends Don't [tr]
Iowa Teen Beaten to Death in Anti-gay Mob Attack [tr]

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  1. Another sad day...

    Posted by: Rex | Aug 24, 2011 12:16:20 PM

  2. :-(

    Posted by: say what | Aug 24, 2011 12:21:04 PM

  3. And this is exactly what I and others meant when saying the reaction to incidents like this are what separates a place that is in general gay positive and a place that isn't.

    Very, very sad. Hopefully the FEDERAL hate crimes laws will lead into a real investigation of this case.

    Posted by: Francis | Aug 24, 2011 12:31:16 PM

  4. Sorry to hear this. The response to the hate crime possibility somehow rubbed me the wrong way.

    Isn't Michelle Bachman from Waterloo, the same town Rick Perry made his first appearance in Iowa in last week?

    Posted by: Roger | Aug 24, 2011 12:33:52 PM

  5. Of course, this is outrageous.... what would it take for them to recognize this as a hate crime!?!?!

    Keep the pressure on the local officials until they finally do the right thing!

    Posted by: TonyJ | Aug 24, 2011 12:40:03 PM

  6. Don't these law enforcement idiots have any common sence? Pull your heads out of your ass and do you job. Didn't you take an oath to protect and to serve? That means everyone, reguarless of anything else. Wait until it's one of your family members who are beaten to death and called faggot. Will you then consider it a hate crime? Take the polotics out of it and do your bloody jobs or resign!

    Posted by: Randy | Aug 24, 2011 12:53:35 PM

  7. Roger, yes, she is, the same district with the highest bullying rate in the country.

    This most certainly was a hate crime. If this had been a straight white victim bashed by blacks, it would be viewed as a hate crime.

    Posted by: robert in nyc | Aug 24, 2011 12:57:12 PM

  8. Guys, the parties knew each other so obviously it's not a hate crime. Hate crimes only happen at a first meeting, when someone makes a snap judgement and acts accordingly. There's no such thing as an escalation of violence over a period of time based on hate. If they were really homophobic they would've killed him the FIRST time they had an altercation, not a year down the road. Why would they waste all that time? It's clear the victim did something to provoke these upstanding citizens of Iowa.

    Posted by: RafiD'Angelo | Aug 24, 2011 1:13:01 PM

  9. THIS IS A HATE CRIME! Do not stand by at let the cops brush this under the rug, Iowa!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Aug 24, 2011 1:14:15 PM

  10. Why are we even talking about it as a hate crime? The police seem to not even be sure it is a crime:
    “'These were all people who knew each other, and there was some bad blood between the two parties involved.'”
    "Suspects have been identified in the case, but no arrests have been made, and no warrants have been sought, according to police."

    In other words...Suspects have been identified in this HUGE county of 67,000 people...but apparently the police just don't have the time or inclination to do anything about what perhaps "suspect" is too strong a word. Maybe "errant individuals" or how about "pissed off folk". Yeah...that's probably better. They have identified pissed off folk.

    Take this seriously as a hate crime? It has to be identified as a crime first.

    The victim was a black, gay man. I'm sure the Waterloo police have already investigated thoroughly and have closed the file.

    Makes me sick!

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 24, 2011 1:17:36 PM

  11. The children of OUR FAMILY are dying in front of us! Why is this NOT a hate crime is beyond my comprehension. The powers that be are literally killing us with their views, and indifference.

    Posted by: Beau | Aug 24, 2011 1:19:32 PM

  12. No one in Iowa should ever look down their noses again at Mississippians for how they responded to the murder of Emmett Till.

    Iowa, meet your Emmett Till.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Aug 24, 2011 1:39:47 PM

  13. "persuasion"? Seriously?

    Posted by: Jeffrey in St. Louis | Aug 24, 2011 1:40:31 PM


    What are you talking about? Some people may live next door to a gay couple and it will eat at them and their sick thoughts until eventually they become so filled with hate they decide they have to do something about it. A bunch of punks can jump in a truck and run down to the gay neighborhood to beat up some fags . . . that is not spur of the moment. They made a decision to make a point of commiting a hate crime. No spur of the moment thought. How can you not understand hate? And, how it festers in an ignorant persons mind? You can no someone for a long time and you can hate them for a long time, and one day you flip out like an O.J Simpson and go crazy. Happens every day!

    Posted by: Steve Pardue | Aug 24, 2011 1:58:01 PM

  15. Idleness is the hero’s greatest sin he can commit.

    Posted by: I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff | Aug 24, 2011 2:17:38 PM

  16. Anti-Gay Vipers and the Outsider Archetype

    People who identify with the LGBT community live in the shadow of the outsider archetype, whether they are or not aware of it. Even in communities where their survival is not immediately threatened from the outside.

    However, the possibility of a life-threatening change remains ever-present:

    · The treacherous activities of the religious right.

    · Political censors.

    · Gay basher who are penetrating the heart of metropolitan gay communities.

    · Medical professions, which continue to foist drugs known to be toxic such as AZT and DDI to HIV positive people.

    · Cure-happy psychologist.

    All of these figures confirm the need to be wary of anti-gay vipers and their numerous forms.

    Posted by: I'm Layla Miller I Know Stuff | Aug 24, 2011 2:22:31 PM

  17. Totally predictable. The police are blaming the victim for his own death. No arrests and no warrants? Disgusting even for Iowa standards.

    Posted by: prophet | Aug 24, 2011 4:56:40 PM

  18. This certainly doesn't sound like a RANDOM hate crime. But that doesn't mean it's not a hate crime. There are plenty of cases of long-term "bad blood" between people and someone who's black or Jewish or whatever. If the cause of the "bad blood" is a characteristic of the victim, just because the problem went on for a long time hardly absolves the perps of committing a hate crime.

    Posted by: BobN | Aug 24, 2011 6:20:41 PM

  19. @BobN


    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Aug 24, 2011 6:32:38 PM

  20. Shame on Waterloo, Iowa -- everyone should speak up demanding correct action.

    Posted by: PSGuy92262 in PS | Aug 24, 2011 8:19:50 PM

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