Press

Task Force pays $10,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of murderer of Wanda Alston

Date: 
June 28, 2005

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force pays $10,000 reward for information leading to arrest and conviction of murderer of gay rights advocate Wanda Alston

Washington, D.C., law enforcement officials cite reward as contributing 'greatly to the swift closure' of the case

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

WASHINGTON, June 27 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today announced that it had paid $10,000 to two individuals who provided information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man who murdered beloved District of Columbia lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocate Wanda Alston on March 16. The murderer, William M. Parrott Jr., subsequently pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on April 21 and is scheduled to be sentenced July 29.

"There is no doubt in my mind that the donation toward the reward by the Task Force contributed greatly to the swift closure of the murder of Wanda Alston," said Sergeant Brett Parson of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit of the Metropolitan Police Department. "It is partnerships like this, between the community and the police, that make Washington, D.C., a safer place to live."

"Wanda's murder is an awful tragedy and nothing can change that," said National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Matt Foreman. "We are gratified that we could help bring the man who murdered her to justice."

Alston's extensive organizing and leadership experience included working as staff at the National Organization for Women and the Human Rights Campaign; she was a founding member and board member of the National Stonewall Democrats; and she was an organizer of four national marches. Alston was involved with the Task Force in many ways, most passionately through participation in its Power Summits and national actions. At the time of her death, she served as the mayor's special assistant for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Affairs.

Parrott told authorities he was under the influence of crack cocaine, and that the motive for killing Alston was to rob her so he could buy more of the drug. He could receive a maximum of 40 years in prison.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.