Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

FBI Asks, “Marine Gay Bashing A Hate Crime?”

Savannah, GA – The FBI is investigating last Saturday’s brutal assault case of a gay man by two U.S. Marines as a possible hate crime, according to the islandpacket.com and the Beaufort Gazette.  As reported in this blog, 26-year-old Savannah man, Kieran Daly was allegedly battered unconscious by two Marines stationed at the nearby Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort, South Carolina because the victim “winked at them.”  The cause cited by the Marines, one of whom is a lance corporal and the other a corporal, has ignited a storm of controversy in the LGBT community and beyond.  Keil Joseph Cronauer, 22, and Christopher Charles Stanzel, 23, were arrested by Savannah-Chatham Police near the site where the victim was knocked unconscious on the pavement in the downtown area of the city.  According to police reports, the two Marines were fleeing the scene when they were apprehended.  Daly, the victim, insists that he never harassed the Marines in any way, and that their allegation that he “winked” at them in a flirtatious was was because he was squinting from fatigue.  As he walked away from them to diffuse the argument, one of the Marines shouted a homophobic slur at him and slugged him in the back of the head with a fist, causing seizures and brain bruising.  Witnesses corroborate Daly’s story, according to the police report, contending that the Marines were the aggressors in the argument and the attack. Daly is still hospitalized from his injuries.  Cronauer and Stanzel were taken to the Chatham County Jail. The pair were charged with misdemeanor battery and their bond was set at $1,850. They were released from the jail later on Saturday to military police, according to the jail log. If military investigators deem the crime serious or if the charges in Georgia are elevated, the two also could face court martial, Gunnery Sergeant Chad McMeen, spokesman for the USMC, said.  With the controversy surrounding repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the daily news, and the outspoken opposition to LGB people serving openly in the military, activists are alleging that homophobic attitudes may have played into the hair-trigger attack of the Marines against their victim.

June 16, 2010 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, Beatings and battery, Blame the victim, DADT, FBI, gay men, gay panic defense, Georgia, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, military, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Social Justice Advocacy, South Carolina, U.S. Marines | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

   

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