Gay Mississippi Mayoral Candidate Beaten, Dragged and Torched to Death

The family of slain Clarksdale mayoral candidate want authorities to investigate his death as a hate crime. Marco McMillian was beaten, dragged and torched to death.

A 22 year-old black male, Lawrence Reed, was charged with his murder.

Clarion Ledger reported:

The family of slain Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillian want authorities to investigate the gay, African-American’s death as a hate crime after learning the gruesome details about his final moments.

The Coahoma County Sheriff’s Department, however, isn’t exploring that option, said its spokesman Will Rooker. The department is leading the investigation with the help of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. MBI spokesman Warren Strain couldn’t be reached for comment Monday.

McMillian was beaten, dragged, and set afire before his body was found Wednesday near the Mississippi River, according to a statement the family issued late Sunday and which was confirmed Monday by family friend and Marco McMillian’s godfather, Carter Womack.

Womack also said the 33-year-old was found naked, bruised and swollen. The account was based on photographs the family saw, as well as two conversations it had with the coroner.

McMillian was one of the first viable openly gay candidates to run for office in Mississippi, according to the Victory Fund, a national organization that supports homosexual candidates.

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