Press

Task Force posts $10,000 reward in Detroit anti-gay homicide case

Date: 
March 29, 2007

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

WASHINGTON, March 29 — Detroit police have closed their investigation into the Feb. 23 death of Andrew Anthos, 72, after the Wayne County medical examiner’s office ruled Anthos fell because he had an arthritic neck, not because he was struck during a hate-motivated attack.

Anthos was left paralyzed from the neck down in what his family and others have called a hate crime. Anthos was on a city bus on Feb. 13 when a man reportedly approached him and asked him whether he was gay. The man reportedly continued to harass Anthos and followed him off the bus at the stop in front of his building. A witness saw a man trailing Anthos and standing over him while Anthos was face down on the ground. Anthos gave a corroborating statement before slipping into a coma. The medical examiner’s report fails to explain a 2-inch bruise on the back of Anthos’ head.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“The Detroit Police Department’s mishandling of the investigation into the death of Andrew Anthos is appalling and it is clear that they simply want to sweep it under the rug. The DPD have failed on so many levels — they have failed to involve the community in finding additional witnesses, they have ignored Mr. Anthos’ family and they are using a coroner’s report to negate Mr. Anthos’ deathbed statements and those of an eyewitness.

“We’ve seen the same kinds of things happen time and again in the way in which police respond to hate violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. We are proud to work with the Triangle Foundation and to post a $10,000 reward to encourage people to come forward with information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.”

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Read the Triangle Foundation statement.

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.