FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT: Orie Givens, Director of Communications
(NEW YORK) The New York City Anti-Violence Project issues the following statement from Executive Director Beverly Tillery in response to the death of Deandre Matthews, a 19-year-old Black queer man from Brooklyn:
“Every neighborhood in New York City should be a safe place for Black LGBTQ young people to be, and no one should have to move in fear in their daily life. Everyone must be safe to be themselves in New York City, in every borough and on every block.
Today we are lifting Deandre Matthews’ name into the light. A young Black gay man of 19 should be moving freely through the world, spending time with friends and family and pursuing his goals, but Deandre’s life was brutally cut short. AVP supports Matthews’ friends and family in pursuing answers and demands a full investigation including ways Deandre’s identities may have been factors in his homicide.
As the only organization in New York State dedicated to addressing and ending all forms of violence within and against the LGBTQ community, we at AVP understand all too well the impact of hate and hookup violence on our communities. Particularly at a moment of increased anti-LGBTQ legislation and protest and in a year that has seen multiple incidents of violence against gay men who visited NYC nightlife venues, AVP knows that our communities must stand up for each other, and that violence against LGBTQ people, especially BIPOC, must be taken seriously and more efforts must be made to prevent hate violence.
We know news of this homicide is disturbing and can be triggering and frightening for many in our community. AVP is here for you. If you are impacted by this news and need support, our hotline volunteers and counselors are ready and available any time you need them. Call or text AVP’s 24/7 English/Spanish hotline at 212-714-1141.”