Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kentucky Equality Federation communicates with the U.S. Department of Justice about Harlan County Hate Crime

Harlan, KY -- Kentucky Equality Federation today has communicated with three (3) officials in the U.S. Department of Justice (the Lexington Herald-Leader has the story) about the hate crime and assault against a lesbian couple and their children in Southeastern Kentucky. (previous story)

The request for the U.S. Department of Justice to take-over the case was requested by the Chairman of the Board Richard T. Jones, President Jordan Palmer, and Assistant Southeastern Kentucky Regional Directors Will Taylor and Shannon McKinney. (view in .pdf) or (view in .xps)

The following was sent to the U.S. Department of Justice today; officials with the U.S. Department of Justice, namely Walter Atkinson, Robin Dull, and Bobbi Bernstein are investigating the case:

As you are aware, Kentucky Equality Federation received a hate crime complaint from the County of Harlan, a subdivision of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The victims in this complaint believe this to be a hate crime as outlined in our press release dated August 22, 2011 ( that you received a copy of and we have corresponded by email.

Though the Commonwealth has a hate crime law, which has been used in Judicial Circuits throughout the Commonwealth, we are not aware of it ever being used in Southern or Southeastern Kentucky.

Southeastern Kentucky communities are primarily rural communities with municipal populations less than 10,000 citizens. Kentucky Equality Federation and its legal representation have witnessed before the manner in which these courts operates because Judges as well as the County and Commonwealth’s Attorney are elected to office and not appointed by the Governor or Chief Justice of the Commonwealth. As such, the Judges, County and Commonwealth’s Attorney must keep the bulk of the population happy with their service to the Commonwealth or they risk not being re-elected to office and taking a stand to protect victims of hate crimes, especially members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or intersex community is politically dangerous to them, thus, justice rarely prevails.

Kentucky Equality Federation was contacted by the victims of this case to act as their public advocate because they do not believe justice will prevail. In addition, the victims have reported they have already been informed of alleged ex parte meetings taking place in reference to this case in which the prosecutor was not involved or invited.

Kentucky Equality Federation, at the request of the victims hereby requests the United States Department of Justice move to this case to federal court where neither prosecutors nor Judges are elected to office. This case clearly falls within the hate crimes legislation signed by U.S. President Obama.

1 comment:

Thompson said...

I am a lesbain of Cumberland, KY and i have been in a relationship for years and though i am still in college my plans are to move away from this community. Because of the fact that in my life time equality in eastern kentucky will not happen. It is scary to walk down streets with your partner not know if you will get jumped. I have had cruel words from many but never a gang. This couple I will pray for bless them for coming forward maybe this could save the next gay couple pursicuted by ignorance.