After several gay men were drugged and murdered across New York City’s nightlife scene, the Adams administration on June 8 unveiled a new plan to allow individuals to ask the police to re-evaluate unsolved cases — including decades-old cold cases — involving LGBTQ victims.
The June 8 announcement coincided with Pride Month, but it was partly driven by the devastating murder cases that emerged in and around gay clubs or bars and sparked fear in the LGBTQ community until authorities made multiple arrests this year. The two most notable attacks targeted Julio Ramirez and John Umberger, who both died last year. In total, there were allegedly 17 similar incidents between March of 2021 and July of 2022, according to police.
“Every New Yorker should be able to go out at night, enjoy New York City’s renowned nightlife, and come home safely to their families and community,” Adams said in a written statement. “We miss Julio and John, and all the LGBTQIA+ victims of crime. LGBTQIA+ New Yorkers and visitors must be safe and feel safe, especially during Pride Month, and we are hopeful this new process will help solve more cases and answer more questions for communities.”
The city has created a dedicated web page where individuals, such as concerned families and friends, can submit requests to re-examine cases. The requests will be reviewed by the NYPD’s detective bureau, which will deliver information to folks regarding the status of a given case and decide whether a case should be re-evaluated. The page notes that all investigations will stay open until there are arrests or the suspect dies.
Depending on the nature of the case, the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force may get involved to review for any bias motivation. Folks submitting requests can fill out their contact information on an online form or remain anonymous.
“New York City is one of the most diverse places on the planet, and the New York City Police Department is committed to providing fair and equitable public safety for all,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said in a written statement. “To that end, it is critical that we amplify the voices of our LGBTQIA+ community — especially the voices of victims. This case review process reinforces that work, and in turn makes every community in our city safer. I thank the mayor’s office and all of our law enforcement partners for their ongoing efforts to enhance the public safety of all the people we serve.”
The city is vowing to respond to every request. Learn more here.