Hundreds Mourn Canadian Gay Activist’s Death in Gay Bashing
Friends, family and hundreds of people are mourning the death of Raymond Taavel -- a gay activist from Halifax, Canada, the Calgary Sun reported.
On Tuesday, Taavel, 49, was beaten to death outside a local gay bar. A passerby discovered the activist lying in the road around 2:30 a.m. and called police. The witness told the authorities that a man fled the scene and the police quickly tracked him down, the Canadian national newspaper the Globe and Mail reported.
Andre Noel Denny, 32, was arrested in an alley not far from the scene. Police say that Taavel was assaulted when he tried to stop an argument between two men. Witnesses say anti-gay epithets were yelled, CTV News points out.
The Nova Scotia government will conduct a joint review with health authorities over the release of Denny, who is being held in a psychiatric facility.
"The review will determine whether all relevant policies and procedures were followed and whether they were adequate," said a news release from the Nova Scotia government.
Police say they were looking for the suspect earlier that day when he did not return to a local psychiatric facility after a one-hour leave. Denny’s lawyer says he should not have been given permission to leave.
Some believe that Taave’s murder was a hate crime. The local authorities would not confirm or deny the allegation, the Calgary Sun reported.
"We are exploring all possibilities with regards to motives," Const. Brian Palmeter said.
It was reported by local media that Denny claimed self-defense in court and then gave the middle finger to news cameras and to people outside the courtroom. He was then sent back to the hospital where he will undergo a 30-day psychiatric evaluation to see if he can appear in court.