CLARKSDALE, Miss. Lawrence Reed, 22, is under arrest and is being charged with the murder of Clarksdale mayoral candidate Marco McMillan. Yet, U.S. Congressman Bennie Thompson, who represents the Delta in Washington, wants a federal investigation.
Thompson told media outlets Tuesday that he has confidence in the investigation being conducted by the Coahoma County Sheriff's Dept., but that he is asking the FBI to get involved because that's what the family wants. They released a statement this week stating McMillan's body was in horrible condition when it was found, having been beaten, dragged and burned, and they do not believe the killing was a random act.
The letter stpped short of saying they believed it was due to his sexual orientation. McMillan was described not only as a rising star in the Delta because of his business acumen, but also as the firt viable openly gay mayoral candidate.
The sheriff's dept. has said they are not investigating the death as a hate crime and that they believe they have their man with Reed's arrest.
Mississippi's hate crime laws cover race, but not sexual orientation. Thompson and the the FBI's involvement could mean a new exploration of that aspect because there are parts of the federal statute that cover sexual preference as a reason to prosecute a case as a hate crime.