Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Two years after son's death, mother finds solace in hate crimes bill

Two years after son's death, mother finds solace in hate crimes bill -
(CNN) -- For Elke Kennedy, the significance of Wednesday's hate crimes legislation can be traced to a single punch outside a bar on a drunken night two years ago.

"My son was murdered as he was leaving a bar in Greenville, South Carolina," the 48-year-old woman told CNN about her son, Sean, who was 20 when he came face-to-face with what she calls a hate crime. "He walked outside the bar and there was three people sitting in a car outside and they called him over to ask him for a cigarette."

It was 3:45 a.m. on May 16, 2007, and her underage son was legally drunk, but not so much that he couldn't give them the cigarette. He did so, then turned to walk away. He did not get far, she said.

"As he was walking away, the guy in the back seat got out and walked over to Sean and called him a faggot and punched him in the face."

The men got back into their car and drove off, leaving Sean on the ground, his brain separated from his brain stem, she said.

Fifteen minutes later, the 18-year-old assailant called one of the women whom Sean had been with in the bar and left a message on her cell phone.

"You tell your faggot friend when he wakes up he owes me 500 dollars for my broken hand," the message said.

Sean was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced brain dead 17 hours later. More than 700 people showed up at his memorial service at Crossroads Community Church in nearby Simpsonville.....

1 comment:

libhom said...

Thanks for blogging about this. It's so important to put human faces on hate crimes.