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Popular Topics in The Arts
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Topics In the News
 
Teen Suicide Sparks Criminal Investigation
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 09/22/11
Last updated on: 09/23/11
 
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Jamey Rodemeyer.

On September 22, 2011, police in Amherst, New York announced that they have launched an investigation into whether school bullies can be charged with harassment or hate crimes related to the suicide of high school freshman Jamey Rodemeyer, who was found dead on September 18, 2011, after years of complaints by him that he was bullied in school and online mainly because of his sexual orientation.

According to BuffaloNews.com, Amherst Police Chief John C. Askey said that members of the public, including those from the school community have reached out to police with information that Rodemeyer had been subjected to what would amount to criminal harassment.

"We've heard that there were some specific students, an identifiable group of students, that had specifically targeted Jamey, or had been picking on him for a period of time," Askey said.

"We're looking into it to see if he was the victim of any crimes, and that's the bottom line," the chief said.

Ironically, Rodemeyer, who had complained for years of being bullied, posted a YouTube video in the "It Gets Better" channel reassuring others that "It gets better, I promise."

In the video, he mentioned that he found comfort and inspiration in the music of Lady Gaga, who on Wednesday tweeted to her 13.7 million Twitter followers, "I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it."

Dan Savage, founder of the "It Gets Better" project, responded to news of Rodemeyer's suicide by issuing the following statement: "The point of the 'It Gets Better' project is to give kids like Jamey Rodemeyer hope for their futures. But sometimes hope isn't enough. Sometimes the damage done by hate and by haters is simply too great. Sometimes the future seems too remote. And those are the times our hearts break."

Anderson Cooper has featured the story on two segments of CNN's AC360. In one segment, Cooper explores the wider issue of bullying.

Rodemeyer's parents appeared on CNN's AC360 show Wednesday night, telling Anderson Cooper of their son's history of being bullied, adding that "He had the biggest heart in that little body."

 
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