Dallas men plead guilty to using Grindr to target gay men for hate crimes

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Pablo Ceniceros-Deleon (L) and Daryl Henry, photos courtesy of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.

Two men in Dallas have pled guilty to a hate crime and other charges for using Grindr to commit violence against gay men and rob them by forcing them at gunpoint to withdraw money at ATMs, the U.S. Justice Department announced Friday.

Daryl Henry, 24, pleaded guilty to one count of committing a hate crime under the Matthew Shepard & James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and one count of conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking.

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FBI report shows increase in anti-LGBT hate crimes

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: ‘Bias-motivated crimes are a real, frightening problem in the United States,’ said HRC’s Alphonso David. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The number of hate crime incidents targeting gays, lesbians, and bisexuals in the United States in 2018 increased by nearly 6 percent over the previous year and the number of anti-transgender hate crime incidents increased by 41 percent during that same period, according to the FBI’s newly released annual Hate Crime Statistics Report.

The report, which covers 2018, the most recent year for which the FBI has released hate crimes data, shows that participating law enforcement agencies throughout the country reported to the FBI a total of 7,120 hate crime incidents for 2018, 55 fewer than the total reported for 2017.

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Florida lawmakers file bills to expand hate crime law for 2020

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: State Rep. Joe Geller (L), who filed HB 655, and state Sen. Kevin Radar, who filed SB 940, hope to expand Florida’s hate crime law in 2020.

Lawmakers in both the Florida House and Senate filed joint bills this month ahead of the state’s 2020 Legislative session that would expand Florida’s current hate crime laws to include gender, gender identity and physical disability. The bills would also add “association with” and “mixed motive” hate crimes to the current law.

Senate Bill (SB) 940, called the Crimes Evidencing Prejudice bill, was filed by state Sen. Kevin Radar (D-Boca Raton) on Nov. 14 and House Bill (HB) 655, called the Offenses Evidencing Prejudice bill, was filed by state Rep. Joseph Geller (D-Miami/Dade) with Rep. Rick Stark (D-Weston) and Rep. Jackie Toledo (R-Tampa) on Nov. 15.

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FBI arrests Las Vegas man accused of planning attack on synagogue, LGBTQ bar

By : Wire Report
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LAS VEGAS (AP) | A man who authorities say worked as a security guard has been arrested and accused of plotting to firebomb a Las Vegas synagogue or a bar catering to LGTBQ customers, officials said Aug. 9.

Conor Climo, 23, of Las Vegas, was arrested Aug. 8 by an FBI-led anti-terrorism task force, U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich said in a statement.

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Man pleads not guilty over talks to avenge mosque attacks

By : wire report
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MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) | A New York man pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges in Montana that he lied to authorities about discussions he had about joining ISIS and attacking random people to avenge shootings at two New Zealand mosques.

Fabjan Alameti also pleaded not guilty to a firearm charge during his arraignment May 6 in U.S. District Court in Missoula. The charges carry a combined maximum penalty of 18 years in prison $500,000 in fines if he is convicted.

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FBI, Bureau of Prisons ordered to probe LGBTQ discrimination

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) | Attorney General William Barr has ordered the FBI and the Bureau of Prisons to investigate allegations of discrimination against LGBTQ employees, he said in a letter released April 5.

The announcement came in response to concerns from DOJ Pride, a group that represents thousands of LGBTQ employees at the Justice Department and its component agencies.

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YouTuber Jeffree Star says $2.5 million worth of cosmetics stolen from his warehouse

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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YouTuber and makeup mogul Jeffree Star says that $2.5 million worth of cosmetics were stolen from one of his warehouses in Los Angeles during a heist on March 16.

Star shared the news in a YouTube video posted on April 2.

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Trump says DOJ, FBI to review the Jussie Smollett case

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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President Donald Trump tweeted on March 28 that the U.S. Department of Justice and FBI will review the “outrageous” Jussie Smollett case after prosecutors dropped 16 counts of disorderly conduct against the “Empire” actor.

“FBI & DOJ to review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case in Chicago. It is an embarrassment to our Nation!” Trump tweeted.

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For Jussie Smollett, one story equals 16 felony counts

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) | News that a grand jury had indicted “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for allegedly lying to Chicago police about being attacked by two masked men may not have made much of a splash except for one thing: The lone felony count that Smollett had been arrested on last month had turned into 16.

The reasons Smollett is facing 16 counts rather than just one count of disorderly conduct — the felony in Illinois that people are charged with when accused of lying to police — are not fully explained in the indictment that a grand jury returned on March 7. But legal experts say indictments like that aren’t uncommon in Chicago, and there are some explanations as to how the grand jury could have arrived at the 16 counts, eight of them for Smollett’s comments to a police officer and eight others for what he told a detective.

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Vermont’s transgender candidate getting death threats

By : wire report
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) | Vermont’s transgender gubernatorial candidate said Tuesday she’s been getting a steady stream of death threats and other personal attacks since her candidacy began to draw attention from across the country and the world.

Christine Hallquist, who won Vermont’s Democratic gubernatorial primary last week, said most of the threats, which began before she won the nomination, have been coming from outside of Vermont, although during her primary campaign it was not unusual for people to yell insults at her during parades and other public appearances.

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Russia fomenting discord over guns, gays, race

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A 29-year-old Russian woman living in D.C. who was indicted last week for allegedly engaging in a conspiracy to clandestinely act as a Russian agent is part of a longstanding effort by Moscow to foment discord in the U.S. by exploiting divisive issues such as guns, LGBT rights, and racial bias, according to a source close to the investigation into the woman’s activities.

After hearing evidence presented by federal prosecutors, a D.C. grand jury on July 17 indicted Maria Butina on charges of criminal conspiracy and illegally acting as a foreign agent within the U.S. A U.S. District Court judge the following day ordered her held without bond after prosecutors said she had moved out of her D.C. apartment and was at risk for leaving the country.

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A decade after Caylee Anthony went missing, former Orange County CSI Robin Maynard-Harris recalls the events

By : Jeremy Williams
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So much has been written about Casey Anthony, her daughter Caylee’s disappearance and the subsequent discovery of Caylee’s body.

The media circus surrounded Central Florida in the years between Casey Anthony being arrested for the murder of her 2-year-old daughter in Oct. 2008 and her shocking acquittal for murder in July 2011. Many involved in the investigation and the case have spoken out to news network talk show hosts, written books and gone on press tours explaining what happened. One person who kept silent was Orange County Sheriff’s crime scene investigator, Robin Maynard-Harris.

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