David O’Malley investigated the death of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man tortured and murdered in a crime that shocked the conscience of the nation and inspired new civil rights laws. He asked other officers to take hate crimes more seriously and to investigate them more sternly. O’Malley stated “These legislations are important because there are places in our country where, if you’re queer you deserve what you get. If you happen to be gay, we may not investigate. We may not prosecute. I’m hoping that stops.” This hope began in 1998 when Shepard was found beaten until he was unrecognizable and tied to a fence. O’Malley said he had never seen injuries like that before and was sickened by the fact that they beat and robbed him just because he was gay.
In the conference he held in the beginning of November, he presented strategies like partnering with larger police agencies. Since these crimes happen a lot in small, rural places this will help small towns departments deal with crimes that terrorize communities.
I’m glad that someone is finally seeing what is going on and rather than just talking about the situation and how sad it is. He is actually making plans and ideas on how to make a change. I also like the fact that he trying to get the change right where we need it most, authoritative figures! David O’Malley stated in the article that he used to be a big homophobe and used hurtful and vulgar words like faggot regularly. It’s good that these issues are getting through to people who aren’t necessarily LGBT.
We can sort of see that our country is maturing and changing slowly but surely. What type of strategies do we need to use to fully get this change into its full effect?