New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) Community Affairs Bureau, the Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes (OPHC), and the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit announced a new process for New Yorkers to contact the NYPD to re-examine cases involving LGBTQIA+ victims. Cases eligible for reexamination include unsolved cold cases that may have happened decades ago, and homicide cases, such as the fatal drugging cases that took place in Hell’s Kitchen last year.
The NYPD’s Detective Bureau will facilitate these requests and provide information on the status of cases, as well as review the overall facts to determine whether a case should be reexamined. All investigations remain “open” until either an arrest is made, or the suspect is identified but inaccessible due to death. Some cases may be referred to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force to determine if any possible bias motivation exists.
This program responds, in part, to the murders of Julio Ramirez and John Umberger, who were fatally drugged and robbed in Hell’s Kitchen in 2022. Following an investigation by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, five men were indicted as part of an alleged conspiracy to drug and rob individuals in at least 17 separate incidents, including in the deaths of Ramirez and Umberger, between March 2021 and July 2022. Two of the suspects were charged with murder in connection with their deaths.
“Every New Yorker should be able to go out at night, enjoy New York City’s renowned nightlife, and come home safely to their families and community,” said Mayor Adams. “We miss Julio and John, and all the LGBTQIA+ victims of crime. LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers and visitors must be safe and feel safe, especially during Pride Month, and we are hopeful this new process will help solve more cases and answer more questions for communities.”
“This is a crucial step towards justice and healing for the LGBTQIA+ community, which has historically suffered disproportionate levels of violence and persecution,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “By providing this avenue for the community to request reexamination of unsolved cases, we hope to restore faith in the system, honor the lives lost, and send a clear message that every member of our community deserves justice, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“New York City is one of the most diverse places on the planet, and the New York City Police Department is committed to providing fair and equitable public safety for all,” said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “To that end, it is critical that we amplify the voices of our LGBTQIA+ community — especially the voices of victims. This case review process reinforces that work, and in turn makes every community in our city safer. I thank the mayor’s office and all of our law enforcement partners for their ongoing efforts to enhance the public safety of all the people we serve.”
“This new program is an important step toward ensuring that LGBTQIA + New Yorkers are able to obtain justice if they are victims of crime,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) Director Deanna Logan. “I applaud the NYPD’s commitment to streamlining this process for victims and families. In a city where hate is not tolerated, MOCJ is likewise committed to working with our partners in government to ensure that LGBTQIA + New Yorkers are safe and free to enjoy everything our city has to offer.”
“OPHC stands with the LGBTQIA+ community,” said OPHC Executive Director Hassan Naveed. “Through our collaboration with partners in government, and members of OPHC’s Partners Against the Hate FORWARD program, we will directly engage the LGBTQIA+ community to conduct outreach, trainings, canvassing, and more to promote safe Pride and partying. We will pass on safety tips to our LGBTQIA+ communities during peak bar hours, and equip community members with resources and tips against hate violence.”
“The City of New York will not forget LGBTQIA+ victims of crime; we are committed to them and their loved ones to deliver the justice they deserve,” said Community Affairs Unit Commissioner Fred Kreizman. “During this Pride Month, we reaffirm our responsibility to safety and justice for all New Yorkers.”
New Yorkers can access the request form online to request the NYPD re-examines cases involving LGBTQIA+ victims. The NYPD will respond to all inquiries.
New York City Hall NYC.gov Office of the Mayor news – June 8 2023 https://www.nyc.gov/office-of-the-mayor/news/402-23/mayor-adams-new-mechanism-process-reexamine-homicide-cases-lgbtqia-victims
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