About 50 people gathered Friday night in the heart of Houston's gayborhood to protest a recent crime wave that culminated in the murder of a gay man outside a bar early Thursday.
Houston police have identified the victim as 22-year-old Juan Carlo Ramirez (right). They arrested two suspects — ages 15 and 16 — Thursday evening and charged them with capital murder in Ramirez's death. The teens are also believed to be responsible for another shooting nearby that left the victim in critical condition. Police say Ramirez's murder was a carjacking and not an anti-gay hate crime.
Their signs made the message clear. It's time to “take back Montrose.” Brad Janacek organized dozens of concerned Montrose residents Friday night to peacefully protest at the intersection of Westheimer and Montrose. They're asking The Houston Police Department for more police presence in the area. "We're fed up as a community and I don't live here anymore because of the crime," said Janacek. …
Protester Bobby Lowe thinks the LGBTQ community should be worried and not just about these latest violent incidents, but about a perceived uptick in car burglaries and thefts.
"I think it's about gay people being targeted. They're coming here for a reason and the reason is because gay people, [criminals] feel like their easier targets," said Lowe.
Police say they plan to increase patrols in the area, and a town hall is planned between the department and the LGBT community next month.
Of course, none of the mainstream outlets raise the question of whether the uptick in violence could be tied to all the recent hateful rhetoric from opponents of the city's Equal Rights Ordinance.
Ramirez’ mom, Reynald Rubio, spent Friday planning her 22-year-old son’s funeral.
“He is a happy boy. Beautiful, good boy. I love you, my son,” she said as she burst into tears.
Watch reports of the rally, AFTER THE JUMP …