August Provost Hub

Vigil, Burial Held for Slain Gay Sailor August Provost


Approximately 100 people gathered at a site near Camp Pendleton on Friday night for a candlelight vigil and demonstration intended to show solidarity with the family of slain Seaman August Provost, who was found murdered at a guard post on the base on June 29:

Provostvigil2 "Navy officials have said there isn't any evidence that suggests his slaying was gang-related or a hate crime. Relatives have said Provost told them he had been harassed, and they had urged him to report it. Rep. Bob Filner, D-San Diego, has said the Navy told his office that Provost had been killed by a man who was attacking the base. Charges haven't been filed against the 'person of interest' – a sailor being held in connection with Provost's death – and no other suspects have been taken in, Navy Region Southwest officials said yesterday afternoon. 'We wanted to send a message of solidarity to his family,' said Max Disposti, chairman of the North County LGBT Coalition, before the vigil. He said North County is 'so connected' to Camp Pendleton and “every time something happens in Camp Pendleton it affects the community too.” He said organizers picked the location along North Coast Highway near Monterey Drive because it was close to the base and visible from Interstate 5. Some motorists honked to show support as they passed."

A Flickr gallery of the vigil.

Provost was laid to rest on Friday in Houston: Provostvigil3 "Friends and family praised Provost for his “powerful love” of all people, never caring about sexual orientation or race. Only one longtime family friend, Allie Harrison, alluded to concern over whether the gay sailor's death was a hate crime. 'I believe with all my heart the truth will be revealed and any lies uncovered,' she said from the pulpit. The service was at Wright Grove Baptist Church in the Acres Home neighborhood of Houston where Provost grew up."

Watch scenes from the vigil, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Jackson Lee: Congressional Inquiry for August Provost


Civil rights and HIV/AIDS advocate Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), who literally and figuratively saluted Michael Jackson at his memorial service today, says she will demand a full Congressional inquiry into the murder of August Provost.

Congressman Suspects Seaman's Murder a Hate Crime

SafariScreenSnapz002 Rep. Bob Filner (D) of California was at Camp Pendleton just six hours after Seaman August Provost was murdered, but no mention was made to him of the crime. He finds that suspicious and accuses the military of habitually not "telling the truth" when it comes to potential hate crimes. "There are indications" he was killed for being gay, according to Filner and Provost's family. Provost had complained of being harassed by fellow personnel and was openly gay to most people around him.

Navy spokesman Lt. Kyle Raines, Navy Region Southwest tells CNN:

"There are no indications that the body of Seaman Provost was bound, gagged or mutilated as some media have reported. There was a fire set in an effort to cover up evidence. The specific cause of death will be addressed once the autopsy report and toxicology reports have been completed. There was a person who was initially held as a person of interest. He is no longer being held. There is now a second sailor who was not previously identified to the media who has been linked to the commission of the crime through both physical evidence and his own statement. The second sailor is being held. His name has not been released."

SafariScreenSnapz003 Filner hammers home, in the above CNN report, that Don't Ask, Don't Tell and "gay hostility" may have contributed to Provost's murder. He also points out that when Provost was killed, his partner (identified as "the love of my life" on his MySpace page) was never notified by authorities because he was not recognized as a legitimate next of kin, also due to DADT.

Another reason why a full repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell should be a top priority.

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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