Task Force increases reward to $25,000 in Detroit anti-gay homicide case

April 10, 2007

Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications


WASHINGTON, April 10 — The Task Force has further increased its reward to $25,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the death of Andrew Anthos. Detroit police closed their investigation into the Feb. 23 death of Anthos, 72, after the Wayne County medical examiner’s office ruled Anthos’ death was caused by respiratory failure brought on by advanced degenerative arthritis of the spine. The medical examiner did not rule on what caused Anthos’ neck to twist so severely to trigger the chain of events that led to his death. The Task Force has been working closely with its state partner, Triangle Foundation, to draw attention to this case.

Anthos was on a city bus on Feb. 13 when a man reportedly approached him and asked him whether he was gay. The man continued to harass Anthos and followed him off the bus at the stop in front of his building. A witness then saw a man standing over Anthos, who was face down on the ground. Based on the witness’ account, the police department distributed a sketch of the suspect, and Anthos gave a corroborating statement before slipping into a coma. The medical examiner’s report, meanwhile, fails to explain a 2-inch bruise on the back of Anthos’ head.

Beginning today, Triangle Foundation staff and volunteers will conduct a canvass of Anthos’ former neighbors and of the bus stop near his home, seeking witnesses. Learn more.

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

“Given Mr. Anthos’ deathbed statement and that of an eyewitness, the man who caused Mr. Anthos’ death is still at large. Since neither Mayor Kilpatrick nor Police Chief Bully-Cummings appear to care and have summarily dropped the investigation, we are increasing our reward to $25,000 to encourage other witnesses to come forward and bring the perpetrator to justice. The Detroit Police Department’s mishandling of this case is an insult to the memory of Mr. Anthos, to his family and to our national community. This is a glaring example of why we need a federal law that authorizes the federal government to step in when local law enforcement agencies refuse to address hate-motivated violence, including crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”


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.