Tulsa Police Allegedly Refuse To Investigate Death Of HIV+ Gay Man Found Naked In Blood-Covered Apartment
Benny Longoria, an HIV+ gay man, was found dead and naked in his Tulsa, Texas apartment--which was reportedly covered in blood. So why are police allegedly refusing to investigate his death?
Dallas, Texas LGBT activist C.d. Kirven writes in Dallas Voice:
A friend found 40-year-old Benny Longoria lying dead and naked in his Tulsa apartment on June 20, but police there failed to notify his family for more than a month, according to what family members have told me.
Representatives of the property management company that operated the apartment complex reportedly said there was blood everywhere in the apartment, and yet Tulsa police continue to refuse to investigate this as a suspicious death, despite the family’s repeated pleas that they do so.
No autopsy was performed and Longoria’s body was immediately cremated at the request of police, due to his HIV status.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Dave Walker has refused the family’s investigation requests and insists Longoria died of natural causes, as determined by his primary care Dr. Frances Haas. But when I contacted Dr. Haas to verify cause of death, representatives in her office told me they did not sign a death certificate and do not know how Longoria died.
Longoria's family is apparently being completely stonewalled by Tulsa Police.
Kirven reached out the Tulsa Police Homicide Division and had the following interaction:
When I contacted the Tulsa Police Homicide Division, Sgt. Walker told me Longoria family can get a lawyer or whatever else they want to do — he doesn’t care, and he will never allow Benny Longoria’s death to be investigated. I pointed out that no autopsy was performed and that Benny Longoria’s doctor did not support the police department’s statements on cause of death, and then asked what medical training Officer Brad Sheryl had that allowed him to determine as cause of death in this case. That’s when Sgt. Walker hung up on me.
Elvia Longoria told me: “Witnesses say that Officer Brad Sheryl has my brother’s phone, and we want it because we believe it’s critical in finding out what happened to Benny. But Sgt. Walker refuses to admit they have his cell phone or to investigate his death. Why does he get to treat us this way?”
"He doesn't care." What's the deal here?? Why would the police refuse to give up Longoria's phone to his family?
How could finding a dead body in an apartment "covered in blood" not be deemed suspicious enough to warrant an investigation? (Also, Copper Mill Apartments allegedly told the Longoria family that police burned all of Longoria's belongings because they were covered in blood and he was HIV-positive.)
This sounds exceedingly corrupt and we hope Longoria's family will receive some justice.
(H/T: The Gaily Grind)