Navy Seaman August Provost III was killed one year ago today.
The 29-year-old sailor from Houston, who gay and out to family and some co-workers, was brutally murdered at the sentry station at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, north of San Diego, on June 30 2009. Provost was shot three times, had his hands and feet bound, his mouth gagged, and body burned. The shack also was set on fire. The Provost family later told the media the military initially did not tell them this was a homicide and also neglected to reveal the manner of death.
Provost had confided to his family that he was harassed and ostracized for at least a year because he was gay and black. Provost's sister suggested he tell a supervisor—unfortunately not an option for gay and lesbian servicemembers due to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." Despite the torture and brutal murder, the military maintained from the beginning this was a "random act of violence" and there was "no evidence" to believe it was a hate crime.
Petty Officer Jonathan C. Campos, who was served in Provost's unit, was arrested the night of the murder and charged almost one month later. Campos was accused of a bizarre, month-long crime spree that included murder, solicitation of murder, drugs and weapons violations. The military investigation was sharply criticized by family members and several members of Congress, most notably Sheila Jackson Lee, who later called for a congressional investigation. It never happened.
Campos committed suicide in the brig at the Camp Pendleton on July 31. The military later admitted that Campos was under video surveillance because he'd made two previous suicide attempts. The surveillance was allowed to lapse. The military announced it would "investigate".
David Badash at the New Civil Rights Movement: 'The circumstances surrounding this murder are ghastly, but the Navy’s response [is] ghastly as well. The military [investigation] is evidence that the military cannot possibly be trusted to police [or] investigate itself when it comes to gay soldiers and gay rights. Which leads us to ask how the military will handle integration of openly gay and lesbian servicemembers into its ranks."
Will we ever learn the truth about Seaman August Provost's murder?
Rod 2.0's complete coverage HERE.