Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Ohio Hate Murder Revisited After Six Years: Justice for Gregory Beauchamp

 

Jerry Jones, 28, indicted for 2002 New Year's Eve Murder of Gregory Beauchamp

Jerry Jones, 28, indicted for 2002 New Year's Eve Murder of Gregory Beauchamp

 

On New Year’s Eve 2002, a dark blue Cadillac pulled up to the corner of West Liberty and Vine Streets in Cincinnati beside two cross-dressed friends as they walked to a party.  Taunts erupted from the car at the two homosexual men, “Fuckin’ faggot-assed bitches!”  Then somebody in the Caddy pulled a trigger, and Gregory Beauchamp, 21, fell fatally wounded in the chest.  He was pronounced dead on the scene.

 

Hate Murder Victim Gregory Beauchamp, 21, wanted to be a fashion designer.

Hate Murder Victim Gregory Beauchamp, 21, wanted to be a fashion designer.

 

Now, thanks to the work of the Cincinnati Cold Case Unit, Jerry Jones, 28, has been indicted for Beauchamp’s murder.  Jones was already in custody at a Dayton, Ohio detention facility on unrelated charges.  In 2003, though he had been arrested for killing Beauchamp, the grand jury failed to indict him.  The years have not dimmed the pain Beauchamp’s friends still feel for his loss.  His friend Dontae refuses to forgive Jones: “This is so sad what they did to Gregory.  I miss him so much!  The guy who took his life don’t think how much he meant to us.  He took my best friend [away from me] that night.”  

 

Curtis Johnson holds photo of his friend, Gregory Beauchamp.

Curtis Johnson holds photo of his friend, Gregory Beauchamp. (Steven Heppich photo)

 

Gregory Beauchamp was the 65th homicide of the year in Cincinnati, and the last one for 2002.  Curtis Johnson remembers the night as if it were yesterday.  He told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he was on his way to meet Beauchamp at the party. “He just died in the street–it’s just terrible.  I just want people to know he’s more than just the 65th victim.  He loved clothes, music, he could sew.  He was just a good person.  Being black and gay in Cincinnati is tough.”

Beauchamp’s brutal murder sparked a movement in Cincinnati that culminated in the passage of a municipal hate crime statute.  Now his friends may get to see justice done for the gentle man who loved to wear women’s clothing and dreamed of studying fashion design in California.

May 9, 2009 Posted by | African Americans, gay men, gun violence, Hate Crime Statistics, Hate Crimes, Ohio, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons | | 2 Comments

   

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