Gay man files federal lawsuit after harassment leading to his house burning down
A gay man in the US has filed a federal lawsuit after months of abuse led to his house being burnt down.
Randy Gamel-Medler of Hitchcock, Oklahoma, was threatened initially at a September 2016 town council meeting.
He had lived in the town for just a month when he experienced a racist slur at the meeting, because his son is African-American.
Despite a police report being filed at the time, no action was taken.
“We were terrorized, murder threats were made against our seven year-old African-American son,” said Gamel-Medler.
“Town officials conspired to run us out of office, all while local law enforcement ignored our pleas for help.”
“Meradith Norris, one of the trustees, had seen him in the yard and asked if he was our son,” Gamel-Medler told NBC News.
“She said to me, ‘What are you going to do when your house burns down and we don’t send out the firetrucks?’”
The federal lawsuit is filed naming nine individuals.
He had called police in May when he heard glass breaking in his home.
When he noticed the fire in his garage, he called the fire brigade who did not arrive until his six-bedroom home had entirely burnt to the ground.
He recalled another incident when he was told by another person: “You f—–g queer, I’m going to grab your little boy, rip his n—-r head off and sh-t down his throat.”
Gamel-Medler also said he had been warned by an un-named Sherrif’s deputy that the threats were serious and he should be worried.
“The horrific treatment of this man and his child are a terrible reminder of how hatred and bigotry feed off of each other,” said Gamel-Medler’s attorney, Mark Hammons.
“I hope this lawsuit will bring justice for him and social awareness for everyone.”