Hate Crime Killings

Death in Cortez, CO
Memorial Vigil August 16, 2002
Summary of Hate Crime Statistics, 2002
Hate Crimes by State

Death in Cortez, CO


The Colorado Anti-Violence Project in conjunction with various other anti-violence and gay-affirmative groups in Colorado have asked us to help draw attention to the murder of Fred C. Martinez, Jr.

Here's a URL for a poignant story from today's Denver Post on the murder of Fred C. Martinez, Jr. and where things stand today.
Source: www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1002,53%257E93473,00.html

Fred, a sixteen year old boy, was beaten, slashed, and left to die alone in a desolate place in northern Colorado, the victim of what appears to be a gender-bias hate crime committed by another teenager. This child could have been any of our sons or brothers.

We can’t give Fred back his life but we can try to prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future.

Write to the Colorado Attorney General’s office and the Montezuma County District Attorney and ask them to prosecute the case publicly and vigorously (info and sample letters below).

Write, fax or email your federal elected officials asking them to support federal hate crimes legislation. Send letters of support to Fred’s mother and send financial support to help the family and the local organizations who are assisting the family in the case.

Sample letters are provided below which you can cut, paste and edit to meet your own needs.

Thanks for your concern and assistance!

Addresses:

Mr. Ken Salazar
Colorado Attorney General
1525 Sherman Street – 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
303-866-4500, E-Mail

Mr. Joe Olt
District Attorney
Montezuma County District
103 North Chestnut Street
Cortez, CO 81321
970-565-3788

Ms. Paula Mitchell (Fred’s mother)
c/o 4cGLAD
McElmo Canyon Orchard
17511 Road G
Cortez, CO 81321

The Martinez Memorial Fund
Citizens State Bank Cortez
77 West Main Street
Cortez, CO 81321

Information on contacting federal and state officials can be found at www.secondclassaction.com/sys-tmpl/links/

Colorado residents (and anyone else who feels like it) should also write to the governor and state officials asking them to support hate crimes legislation in Colorado that includes coverage for GLBT (gay, lesbian, bi and transgendered) citizens.

Governor Bill Owens
136 State Capitol Bldg.
Denver, CO 80203-1792

letters:

Mr. Ken Salazar
Colorado Attorney General
1525 Sherman Street – 7th Floor
Denver, CO 80203

Dear Attorney Salazar:

I am writing to ask you to prosecute, vigorously and publicly, the crime committed against Fred C. Martinez, Jr. and by extension against all people who don’t fit the societally accepted “norm” for gender and sexual orientation – which is the definition of a hate crime.

It is incredible that this sort of hatred is still part of the fabric of American life at the dawn of the 21st century and it is incumbent on every citizen and government official to act to redress these crimes and educate our children to prevent these crimes from happening in the future.

I support and endorse the activities of the local, regional and national organizations that are pursuing solutions to this situation and hope you will listen to them and honor their input.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

Mr. Joe Olt
District Attorney
Montezuma County District
103 North Chestnut Street
Cortez, CO 81321

Dear Attorney Olt:

I am writing to ask you to prosecute, vigorously and publicly, the crime committed against Fred C. Martinez, Jr. and by extension against all people who don’t fit the societally accepted “norm” for gender and sexual orientation – which is the definition of a hate crime.

It is incredible that this sort of hatred is still part of the fabric of American life at the dawn of the 21st century and it is incumbent on every citizen and government official to act to redress these crimes and educate our children to prevent these crimes from happening in the future.

I support and endorse the activities of the local, regional and national organizations that are pursuing solutions to this situation and hope you will listen to them and honor their input.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,

Governor Bill Owens
136 State Capitol Bldg.
Denver, CO 80203-1792

Dear Governor Owens:

I am writing to ask you to prosecute, vigorously and publicly, the crime committed against Fred C. Martinez, Jr. and by extension against all people who don’t fit the societally accepted “norm” for gender and sexual orientation – which is the definition of a hate crime.

It is incredible that this sort of hatred is still part of the fabric of American life at the dawn of the 21st century and it is incumbent on every citizen and government official to act to redress these crimes and educate our children to prevent these crimes from happening in the future.

I call upon you to support the inclusion of gender and sexual orientation in the state’s hate crime legislation and to mandate a curriculum of anti-violence and diversity training in primary and secondary schools throughout Colorado.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Very truly yours,
 

Memorial Vigil August 16, 2001


August 16, 2001, a Memorial Vigil will be held starting at 6:30pm at Troy Chavez Memorial Peace Garden, 3805, Shoshone Street, Denver for Fred Martinez, Jr. The death of this 16-year-old in Cortez has united Native American, Gay, Latino and the Transgender communities. These Denver-area minority communities have planned a memorial service to express solidarity and support for Pauline Mitchell, mother of Fred Martinez, Jr., the Cortez youth murdered on June 16, her family, and the Four Corners-area communities mourning Fred's death.

The service will include Native American singing and drumming, remarks by area political leaders and representatives of sponsoring organizations, reading of messages sent by Four Corners-area youth, and the reading of a statement prepared for the event by Pauline Mitchell. Copies of Miss Mitchell's statement will be distributed at the service.

The service will also include offerings by participants of symbolic items that will be transported to Cortez for presentation at the community memorial service to be held there on Saturday night, August 11, in honor of Fred.

The venue for the Denver service is the Troy Chavez Memorial Peace Garden, a Native American sacred space founded by Ms. Ana Chavez-DeQuintana in honor of her son, a victim of violence, and other children who have died as a result of violence.

Sponsoring organizations include the Colorado Anti-Violence Program, the Colorado Two Spirit Society, the Gender Identity Center of Colorado, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (The Center), and the Human Rights Campaign.

Press packets will be available at the service. Press packets will be available after the service from the following persons.

The weekend of August 10-12th has been chosen as the weekend to host vigils around the country in memory of Fred and in support of his family because the pretrial hearing of Shaun Murphy, the accused murderer, is scheduled for Monday August 13th in Cortez. Communities or organizations interested in holding a vigil in their area can contact the following for further information:

John Peters-Campbell, 4cGLAD, Cortez, Colorado E-Mail 970.564.0665

Dede de Percin, Colorado Anti-Violence Program, Denver, Colorado E-Mail 303.839.5204

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