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LAPD Arrests 1 of 3 Suspects in Execution-Style Slaying of Transgender Woman: VIDEO


Los Angeles police have characterized transgender woman Aniya Knee Parker's murder as a street robbery gone bad. 

But LGBT advocates believe Parker's execution-style slaying in East Hollywood in October was a hate crime. 

We may soon find out which theory is correct, after the LAPD announced the arrest of one of three suspects in Parker's murder on Monday.

Screen shot 2014-12-30 at 4.30Parker (above), 47, was fatally shot at about 3 a.m. on Oct. 2 near Melrose and Kenmore avenues, as she tried to flee from three men who'd attempted to steal her purse. The shooting was captured on surveillance video (right). 

The suspect arrested Monday is a juvenile, and police aren't releasing his name or additional information. According to a previous report from KTLA-TV, police believed all three suspects were Latino males ages 20 to 35.  

Parker is one of three transgender woman murdered in Southern California this year, according to Fox 11

Transgender immigration activist Zoraida Reyes, 29, was strangled June 11 and her body was dumped the following day near a Dairy Queen in Anaheim. A 38-year-old Anaheim man has been charged in the killing.

Another transgender woman was found dead on the front porch of a residence in the 6100 block of South Wilton Place on Oct. 1. She had been robbed and then shot -- and LAPD detective Chris Barling said his investigators believed the killing may have been a hate crime. 

After Parker's murder, officials offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the suspects, but police aren't saying whether a tip led to the arrest. 

In announcing the reward, police said they believed the incident began as a random robbery, but LGBT advocates aren't so sure. Among other things, they've pointed to the fact that even after Parker had been shot, the suspects didn't take her purse. From CBSLA.com

The manager of the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s antiviolence project said it’s “very possible” Parker was targeted because she was a transgender woman.

“None of us want to live in a city or in a world where we targeted just for who we are,” said Christopher Argyros of the LGBT Center.

Parker's family was able to raise enough money through a GoFundMe campaign to fly her body back to her native Arkansas. 

Watch Fox 11's report report on the arrest, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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Massive Fire Lights Up Los Angeles Morning Sky: VIDEO


A huge fire in downtown Los Angeles engulfed an apartment building early this morning, forcing the California Highway Patrol to temporarily shut down the 101 freeway. 

USA Today reports:

"This is a historic fire, what we as firefighters would call a career fire. It's huge," Fire Department spokesman David Ortiz told NBC News. "I really can't remember a building fire this big and I have been with the department for 13 years."

The fire, which shut sections of the 110 and 101 freeways, was being fed by wood framing at a planned seven-story, 1.3 million-square-foot luxury apartment complex. Ortiz said he didn't think anyone was living or working there when the fire started.

Fire officials said two other buildings were also damaged, including several floors of a 16-story office tower.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Watch a CNN report on the fire, AFTER THE JUMP...

[photo via Twitter]

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Catholic League's Bill Donohue: Anti-Gay Christians Are Kinda-Sorta Being Persecuted Like ISIS Victims - VIDEO


Possibly sensing they are a dying breed gasping their last breath of hate, anti-gay religious right wingnuts are increasingly comparing their embattled selves to victims of ISIS.

Latest to the game is Bill Donohue of the Catholic League who earlier this week unveiled a Christmas billboard in Los Angeles that draws a comparison between the experiences of American “Christians” - the ones who spend their lives spreading anti-Christian messages - and Christians facing persecution in ISIS-controlled territories.


Full of Christmas spirit, Donohue also makes it clear that gay people who refuse to take abuse from the religious right in silence are in fact the intolerant ones.

According to Right Wing Watch, in a statement, Donohue said that the billboard is aimed at Hollywood:

“No, the Hollywood moguls who disrespect Christians are not the same as radical Muslims who behead us, but both are full of hate. Moreover, both need to be challenged. Christians are fed up with the barbarians abroad and the bigots at home. It’s time all these bullies learned to practice the virtue of tolerance and the meaning of diversity.”

Happy Christmas to you too, Bill.

Donahue has also excused himself from next year's New York St. Patrick's Day Parade following the decision to allow one corporate LGBT group to participate.

Watch the perennial moaner whine about St. Patrick's Day, AFTER THE JUMP...

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An Inside Look At The Gay Wing Of L.A. Men's Central Jail: VIDEO


In an in-depth piece published today, LA Weekly goes inside “K6G,” the gay wing of Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and looks at what life is like for its 400 inmates. Those who have been and are currently inmates here talk openly about how different the culture is in K6G and how the fear of violence and abuse are all but eliminated in what is an anomaly in the world of incarceration:

Duncan Roy, a gay British film producer who was held in K6G for 89 days without bail in 2012, under ex–Sheriff Lee Baca’s controversial interpretation of “immigration holds,” recalls, “In other parts of the jail, you try and smuggle in drugs and cigarettes. That didn’t happen in our wing.

“If you were going to smuggle something in, it would be dresses and bras.”

The gay wing at Men’s Central Jail is an exceptionally rare, if not unique, subculture, the only environment of its kind in a major U.S. city. Nothing like it exists in America’s 21 largest urban jails, all contacted by the Weekly, where officials described in far more modest terms their own steps to deal with and house gay inmates. San Francisco has a transgender holding tank, but gay inmates live among the general population. In New York’s Rikers Island, whose similar gay wing was shuttered in 2005, a jail spokesman laughed out loud, saying that whoever decides which men get placed in L.A. County’s gay jail wing “must have really good gay-dar.”

Indeed, the jail does have a screening process it uses to try and screen individuals. Those looking to be placed in K6G are asked to name a local gay bar they often visit. If they do this correctly, Deputy Sheriff Javier Machado, moves on to "tougher follow-up questions, such as, 'What’s the cover charge?'"

The most prevalent reason why straight inmates may want to seek placement in K6G? Safety:

The gay wing is a far less dangerous, more humane place to be. Unlike the angry, racially polarized culture of Men’s Central Jail, in K6G many of the inmates help one another face their days, and sometimes their years, together.

Watch a video from LA Weekly providing a look at life in K6G, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Sheila Kuehl Defeats Bobby Shriver in L.A. Supervisor Race


With 100% of precincts reporting, former State Senator Sheila Kuehl has defeated Bobby Shriver, a nephew of JFK, in her L.A. Supervisor District 3 race.

Kuehl took 52.8% of the vote and Shriver 47.2%.

Shriver raised twice the cash of Kuehl and had the backing of David Geffen. She will become the first openly gay person to serve on the Board of Supervisors.

Los Angeles Couple Reach Plea Deal In Torture, Murder Of 'Gay Acting' Eight-Year-Old Son - VIDEO


Pearl Fernandez has reached a plea deal in the murder and torture of her “gay acting” eight-year-old son Gabriel, reports NBC. Fernandez, along with former boyfriend Isauro Aguirre, will also plead guity to the charges and avoid the death penalty. 

Fernandez_aguirreThe two will be be sentenced to life in prison without parole in exchange for their guilty pleas to first degree murder and torture with special circumstances. Both have waived their right to appeal. 

Fernandez and Aguirre had initially pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Gabriel, who died in May 2013, was allegedly beaten, doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock in his mouth to muffle his screams.

Two of the boy’s siblings confirmed that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and vomit; that he slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom; and that Fernandez and Aguirre called him gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school.

Fernandez allegedly once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth.

One of Gabriel’s siblings said that on the day of the fatal beating, Fernandez began hitting her son because he didn't want to pick up his toys. She then dragged him into a bedroom, where Aguirre joined her, and the siblings heard screaming, banging and then silence.

The incident has prompted calls for reforms to the Los Angeles County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove Fernandez from his home. Moves have since been taken to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case have received letters of warning or reprimand.

Watch an NBC report on the case, AFTER THE JUMP...

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