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Family of gay, Black teen who was shot to death say police are too biased to investigate possible hate crime

Patrick Kelleher January 23, 2020
Family of gay, Black teen who was shot to death say police are too biased to properly investigate possible hate crime

Ja'Quarius Taylor (Eyewitness News)

The family of a gay, Black teenager who was shot dead last week have claimed their local sheriff has a “conflict of interest” that prevents him from investigating the death as a hate crime.

An attorney told Eyewitness News that the family of Ja’Quarius Taylor has engaged the services of a legal team as they want to ensure that a “full, fair and just investigation” takes place.

“We hope the FBI will get involved because of the perceived conflicts of interest and family relations the local sheriff may have,” the statement said.

“We’re looking at this as a hate crime based on the race and sexual orientation of Ja’Quarius Taylor.”

Family of Ja’Quarius Taylor are ‘not very comfortable’ with local police investigation.

Pastor Ken Owens said: “We would like for the federal government to come in and take over the investigation because we’re not very comfortable with the local police and the way they’ve done the investigation already.

“We just want justice,” he added.

We would like for the federal government to come in and take over the investigation because we’re not very comfortable with the local police and the way they’ve done the investigation already.

Taylor’s body was found in the woods near a lake on January 12. Police said he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

Police in Louisiana have said they are treating Taylor’s death as a homicide and said that they will investigate a hate crime if they find evidence that suggests the attack was motivated by his sexuality or race.

The FBI has said they are ‘assessing the circumstances’ around the Black gay teenager’s death.

They also denied that there is a conflict of interest and said the sheriff is putting all resources into finding the boy’s killer.

Meanwhile, the FBI released a statement on January 22, and said they are “assessing the circumstances” around Taylor’s death.

“If information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate,” the statement said.

“The FBI takes seriously all acts or threats of violence and is committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated and we continue to work with all our community partners.”

More: Black, FBI, Hate crime, Ja'Quarius Taylor, police bias

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