Saturday, February 16, 2008

Rashawn Brazell- Three years later and still unsolved

The gruesome murder of 19 year-old Rashawn Brazell on February 17th 2005 remains unsolved and the killer lurks amongst us. Rashawn, a young black gay man and aspiring web designer's body parts were found stuffed in garbage bags at three different locations throughout Brooklyn. This case garnered very little media attention but did include a national piece on the television crime show "America's Most Wanted". Homophobia on the media's part? Perhaps.

Three years later, on the eve of Rashawn's murder anniversary, I can't help but wonder how much more exposure this case would have received had it been a white woman whose dismembered parts had been found in a similar fashion. In the same year on May 30th, a young white woman disappeared during a school trip to Aruba. Three years later, the case still garners considerable media attention on national and perhaps even some global news outlets. I remember Natalee's name, not because I knew her, but because the media makes sure that I don't forget her and that I (and everyone else) helps provide tips to locate her killer. But what's worse is our own community's apathy surrounding this case. I mean, there is a killer out there who has murdered a black gay man! Though this case has not been officially deemed a hate crime, it has all the makings of one... chopped up body parts to start. Hopefully the killer will be found and brought to justice.

This year I'm honoring Rashawn's memory by running the series of photos from last year's candle light vigil.

I remember Rashawn, and will never forget...

Nostrand Avenue Train Station, Brooklyn. One of the places where parts of Rashawn's dismembered body were found.

Volunteers hand out leaflets to the community.

Desire Brazell, Rashawn's mom speaks to the crowd.

The Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project.

Friends embrace.

Crowd begins to gather at the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Fulton street.

Unty Fellowship's Bishop Zachary Jones and GMHC Executive Director, Dr. Marjorie Hill exchange warm smiles on a cold winter night.

Candles for Rashawn.

Rashawn's father.

Desire Brazell, Rashawn's mom lights candles for her son.

Community comes together for Rashawn.

Reward for Rashawn: $22,000

Candles for Rashawn.

Dr. Marjorie Hill.

Candles for Rashawn.

Bill, Big Rod, and Boris Powell, Program Director for GMAD. Adodi brothers unite for Rashawn.

Candle and glow for Rashawn.

Bill helps Rashawn's sister light a candle for her brother.


Desire Brazell gets a warm hug from a supporter.

Desire Brazell, overcome with emotion at a rally for Rashawn. Brooklyn 2007.

Rashawn Brazell (1985-2005).
Rest in Peace.

For more info and to see how you can help, please visit


Bernie said...

Somewhere, someone knows something.

taylorSiluwé ..... said...

Yeah, Bernie ...

It almost makes me sick to know that his killer is out there, eating drinking sleeping without a care in the world .....