Very disturbing developments in the case of August Provost, the 29-year-old black gay sailor found dead at Camp Pendleton. A Southern California congressman confirms the deceased was gay and killed in a horrific manner, and is calling for congressional and Defense Department investigations.
The body of the Houston seaman was discovered in a guard shack at about 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. The autopsy was concluded today but the initial indications are that Provost was shot and his body burned, the Los Angeles Times reports, quoting Rep. Bob Filner of suburban San Diego. Filner asked the U.S. Department of Defense and the Marine Corps to investigate whether the killing of the sailor was a hate crime. Filner, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, wants "a complete investigation of circumstances" surrounding the death of the sailor and says his committee will also hold hearings.
A "person of interest" continues to be held in the Navy brig at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar. No charges have been filed.
Provost's boyfriend, Kaether Cordero, tells the Union-Tribune that Provost was openly gay. "People who he was friends with, I knew that they knew. He didn't care that they knew. He trusted them." As Rod 2.0 broke last night, Provost recently complained to family that he was being harassed by fellow servicemen. The newspaper confirms this: "They advised him to tell his supervisor, said his sister, Akalia. 'He's the type that if someone comes at him, he walks away. He never stands and argues,' she said. 'He didn't deserve anything but a good life.'"
The homicide of August Provost III came on the same day Defense Secretary Robert Gates claimed the Pentagon hoped to make "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" investigations—and attitudes toward gay and lesbian servicemembers—more "humane." How many more brave gay men and lesbians need to be attacked or killed before this horrible policy ends?
Black Gay Sailor Killed, Hate Crime Suspected [R20]