Crime Hub




Nebraska Lesbian Couple’s Pride Flag Stolen And Burned By Neighbor: VIDEO

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An Omaha, Nebraska couple awoke in the middle of the night to find their neighbor from down the street stealing and lighting the pride flag they fly from their front porch on fire reports The New Civil Rights Movement. Ariann Anderson and Jess Meadows-Anderson woke up around midnight on Sunday after hearing noises outside their home, and both thought their home was being broken into. Jess ran downstairs to check on their two girls while Ariann ran to the window and saw the suspect, 23-year-old Cameron Mayfield who lives 10 houses down the street from the Andersons, flee with the smoldering remnants of their flag down the street. 

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 5.37.57 PMPolice later arrested and charged Mayfield with felony second-degree arson; a resisting arrest charge was added after Mayfield attempted to flee from police when authorities tried to question him at his home. Mayfield’s father told media that his son recently lost his job, was denied unemployment benefits and was drinking at the time; Meadows-Anderson expressed some sympathy for Cameron.

Said Meadows-Anderson: 

"You almost feel bad for a minute. He’s a young man and he made a hate-filled, drunken mistake that will have a lasting effect on his life and his family."

The suspect’s father says Cameron will remain behind bars until after his arraignment but believes the incident wasn't motivated by hate. Meanwhile Jess and Ariann have bigger news to celebrate after a federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, ruling it unconstitutional. The Andersons, who originally married in Iowa and plan to marry again in their home state once it becomes legal, have already replaced their burnt flag with a bigger, and much brighter, pride flag on their front porch.

You can watch the Anderson's interview with local news regarding the incident, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Nebraska Lesbian Couple’s Pride Flag Stolen And Burned By Neighbor: VIDEO" »


Video Of Homophobic Beating In Ghana Sparks Pushback From Ghanaian Celebrities: WATCH

Kuby

Ghanaian music promoter Kinto found himself the target of an angry homophobic mob in Ghana after being accused of meeting up with another man for sex. The attackers filmed the beating and posted it to social media - because violent homophobes tend not to be the brightest crayon in the box - where it not only got the attention of police, who arrested one assailant and said that Kinto had been "framed", but also of celebrities in Ghana's music industry.

Rather than sharing the opinions of most of their countrymen, the celebrities who spoke up not only condemned the attack on Kinto, but also began questioning and condemning Ghana's anti-gay laws themselves. Pop star Wanlov said:

It should be legalized. It shouldn't be against the law. 

Singer Efya spoke out on Twitter to condemn the attacks and homophobia in general:

Social media in general is seeing an outbreak in this discussion, but amidst the condemnation of the attack itself still runs a current of homophobia. Rapper C-Real said in an online video that he doesn't suspect being gay in Ghana will ever be ok, at least not in his lifetime.

You can watch a video of BBC's coverage of the attack and response AFTER THE JUMP...(warning: violent imagery) 

Continue reading "Video Of Homophobic Beating In Ghana Sparks Pushback From Ghanaian Celebrities: WATCH" »


Baptist Pastor Accused Of Murdering Wife So He Could Marry Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty

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A longtime former Southern Baptist pastor accused of killing his wife so he could marry his boyfriend in Europe has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder.

Richard Shahan, 54, entered the plea Monday in Jefferson County, Alabama, where he served as children and families pastor at First Baptist Church of Birmingham, according to AL.com

Shahan2Shahan was arrested last January as he tried to board a plane for Germany. A grand jury would later indict him in the July 2013 slaying of his wife, who was found stabbed to death in their home. 

AL.com reported last year: 

[Deputy District Attorney Leigh] Gwathney said that information obtained from more than 3,000 of Shahan's emails indicated that he was planning to leave the country and never return. He was heading to Kazakhstan via Germany and ultimately planned to move to the United Kingdom, she said.

"He planned to become a citizen there and begin a new life with his boyfriend... who he intended to marry," Gwathney said. "He had no intention of ever returning to the United States. He had no home to return to and he had said his goodbyes to his family."

Shahan, who maintains his innocence, was initially arrested for investigative purposes in July 2013, but released without being charged. He was placed on administrative leave by the church, which later sent out newsletters and prayer cards saying he planned a three-year mission trip to Germany. Shahan's attorneys claim he was leaving for the mission trip when he was arrested at the Nashville airport with $27,000 in US and foreign currencies. 

Shahan was released on $100,000 bond but is on house arrest. 

BaptistNews.com reports on Shahan's long career as a Southern Baptist minister, including at churches in Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee: 

He wrote books, curriculum and articles over 30 years for publishers including Zondervan and LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

None of the reports include comments from representatives of First Baptist Church of Birmingham, or mention the denomination's views on homosexuality. But in case you're wondering, here's the Southern Baptist Convention's official position statement

"We affirm God's plan for marriage and sexual intimacy – one man, and one woman, for life. Homosexuality is not a 'valid alternative lifestyle.' The Bible condemns it as sin. It is not, however, unforgivable sin. The same redemption available to all sinners is available to homosexuals. They, too, may become new creations in Christ."

Watch a report on the case from WBRC-TV last year, AFTER THE JUMP ... (warning: auto-play) 

Continue reading "Baptist Pastor Accused Of Murdering Wife So He Could Marry Boyfriend Pleads Not Guilty" »


Nine Ugandan Men Detained And Sexually Abused By Police For Suspected Homosexuality

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Nine Ugandan gay men were accosted by a homophobic mob as they departed from the Rainbow Health Foundation’s STI health clinic in the rural western part of the country.

Police purportedly took the men into custody for their own protection, but upon arrival at police headquarters, the men were immediately charged under Ugandan sodomy laws. The men were subjected in invasive anal examinations to prove that the detained men were gay.

VIllage officials like the local council chairman have acknowledged that the men were detained, but have expressed that they have no sympathy for them.

The Rainbow Health Foundation has stepped forward and is now trying to raise funds to move the men to a safer location nearer to a city where they may be safe from further persecution. Funds can be directed to the organization through their PayPal e-mail address donate2rhfm@gmail.com.

“The young men are living in fear for their lives,” said Denis LeBlanc, editor of the 76Crimes blog. “Some are house hopping, others are hiding in fields; these young men are in real danger should they be found.”


Filipino Court Rejects U.S. Marine's Appeal of Murder Charge in Death of Transwoman

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A Filipino Department of Justice panel has rejected Marina Pfc. Joseph Scott Pemberton’s appeal in his case for the alleged murder of Jennifer Laude, a trans Filipino sex worker. Laude’s body was found last October not long after Pemberton was spotted leaving her hotel room.

PembertonIn their appeal Pemberton’s attorneys argued that there was no way to way to directly connect Pemberton to Laude’s murder given the presented evidence.

"If direct evidence is insisted upon under all circumstances, the guilt of vicious felons who committed heinous crimes in secret or in secluded places will be hard, if not impossible, to prove," the panel of attorneys said after rejecting Pemberton’s claim.

The panel further explained that a clear timeline has been established that placed Pemberton and a number of fellow marines at a bar with Laude. According to testimony given to the panel by another Marine late that night after leaving Laude’s hotel room Pemberton confessed that he thought he “killed a he/she."

Pemberton can ask the Justice Department to reconsider its decision. 


Murdered Transwoman Misgendered, Mischaracterized By Norfolk, Virginia Press

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According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs Lamia Beard is likely to be the first transwoman reported to be murdered in 2015. Beard, 30, was found with a fatal gunshot wound early on the morning of January 17th before she was rushed to the hospital where she died that same day.

As reports of Beard’s murder began to be picked up in the local Norfolk, VA press, a number of accounts made a point of using her male birth name, describing her as a man, and drawing attention to her previous criminal record. Beard’s family, who were shocked at the news of her murder, were disgusted at the media’s blatant efforts to mischaracterize the woman.

“Lamia was very simple,” said Beard’s sister Kiara Parker. “She just wanted to get her life together. Being transgender, it was very hard for Lamia and it affected her. She would get discouraged about applying for different jobs. It came to a point and time when Lamia just wanted people to accept her for who she was and to find a job so she could live on her own.”

Like many trans-identified women of color, Beard struggled to maintain job stability despite her academic background and desire for financial independence. Norfolk PD has yet to announce any developments in Beard’s case.


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