A proud gay Black man was found dead hours after his family reported him missing. They had to find out through a neighbour he’d been killed

McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln

The family of a gay Black man who was shot dead in Louisiana last week are demanding justice after local police have reportedly kept them in the dark.

McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln, 29, was found dead in the street with a fatal gunshot wound on May 15. His family were not immediately informed of his death, despite having filed a missing persons report just hours before.

Shockingly, the press were told of the crime before his next of kin, and Lincoln’s family had to find out through neighbours who saw news reports about the case.

As they grew increasingly frustrated with the lack of communication from the police department they turned to the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), which is dedicated to empowering Black LGBT+ people, for answers.

McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln was murdered in a gay hate crime.

“McKinsley is an openly gay man and was the target of harassment and discrimination,” said the victim’s mother, Pamela Lincoln.

“The police have a responsibility to ensure justice for the people of this parish. They have not done enough to fulfil their oath. They haven’t protected and served us.”

The NBJC has mobilised two civil rights attorneys, Benjamin Crump and Jasmine Rand, as well as Louisiana State Representative Edward C James, to encourage a full investigation and spread the word about the murder.

Within 24 hours of this scrutiny the police department committed to a complete investigation, and they are now examining the case as a hate crime.

McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln (National Black Justice Coalition)

“This tragic incident should be a reminder that hate crimes against Black LGBTQ and same gender loving people happen too frequently — often without the national public outcry that our heterosexual brothers and sisters receive,” said David Johns, executive director of the NBJC.

He highlighted the worrying increase in hate crimes “across the board” after the 2016 election, with Black and LGBT+ people frequently being targeted.

“Trump has escalated the violence with racist rhetoric and destructive policies designed to divide and keep some of us locked out of access to opportunity,” he said. “The clearest consequences of these deleterious actions are evident in these examples of vitriol, violence, and death.”

The NBJC is urging people to call upon the Alexandria Police Department and demand “a complete and full investigation” into McKinsley LaKeith Lincoln’s death.

“Not one member of our beautifully diverse community should experience violence, discrimination, or be murdered as a result of who we are or how we show up in the world,” Johns said.

“Each of us has a role to play in ensuring that we create a strong and inclusive community.”