Three American teens could face hate crime or harassment charges following the suicide of 14-year-old Jamey Rodemeyer, believed to be due to anti-gay bullying.
“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,” Police Chief John C Askey told Buffalo News.
“We’re looking into it to see if he was the victim of any crimes, and that’s the bottom line. We’re going to be speaking to school officials and students and anyone with direct information about crimes that may have been committed against this individual.”
Rodemeyer killed himself a week ago after being bullied online and in person. It has not been revealed how he committed suicide.
Rodemeyer was a regular blogger and often commented on his bullying. When he blogged about thoughts of committing suicide, he was further taunted by comments to go ahead and kill himself.
“The bullies now are still walking around. They get to wake up tomorrow and go to school and see all their friends, but my son will not be given a second chance no matter how much I have prayed,” Jamey’s mother Tracy – who has said that her son was questioning his sexuality – told CBS News.
On Saturday, singer Lady Gaga dedicated a performance of her song Hair to Rodemeyer at a music festival in Las Vegas.
“I wrote this record about how your identity is really all you’ve got when you’re in school … so tonight, Jamey, I know you’re up there looking at us, and you’re not a victim,” Gaga said before performing the song.
On Sunday night, around 1,000 people took part in an anti-bullying march and candlelight vigil in Allentown, Buffalo, New York.