Activists Say Black Gay Men Targeted in Southside Chicago Murders

Fri. December 28, 2007 12:00 AM by Kevin Wayne

Black gay activists claim two deaths have an unspoken connection

Chicago, IL - Leaders of Chicago Black Lesbian and Gay Organizations announced a community alert Thursday morning after two recent homicides in which they believe black gay men were targeted.

The community organizations called the alert in response to the deaths of 24-year-old Larry Bland, on November 17, and 47-year-old Donald Young, on December 23, according to a news release.

Bland's mother believes that a potential lover shot him to death in his Englewood home last November. He was a security guard at Northwestern Hospital.

Young, a choir director and deacon at Trinity United Church of Christ, seems to have been murdered in an apparent pre-Christmas robbery.

"We're calling on the police department to let the community know what's going on," said Marc Loveless of the Coalition for Justice and Respect. "Are we under attack? Is this a serial killer?"

Chicago Police Department Acting Supt. Dana Starks told CBS 2 Chicago, "I understand the concerns of any group, any community when it comes to homicide. As of right now, I cannot say whether there is a connection."

Lynn Bland said he thinks his brother's death started as a robbery but turned into a hate crime.

"Englewood? Come on. That's why a lot of gay guys won't come out, because they fear for something like this to happen," Bland told CBS 2 Chicago.