365Gay.com | Court Refuses To Block New Trial Against Cops In Teen's Suicide: The family of a teenager who killed himself after two police officers threatened to tell his parents he was gay will be allowed to launch a second wrongful death suit. A federal appeals court has rejected an appeal from the Minersville, Pennsylvania Police Department and several officers who sought to block the suit by the family of 18-year-old Marcus Wayman. Wayman, a high school football player, shot himself in the head in his home in 1997, hours after officers who arrested him on an underage drinking charge threatened to go to his family and tell them he was gay.
Well ... granted that different juries decide things differently. The family wants the police to be declared culpable, and frankly, from what I've heard, that would not be an unreasonable position. However, it does sound as though responsibility might be personal, rather than departmental. Surely it can't be departmental policy to say, "Hey, I've arrested you for underage drinking, and it looks like you and your boyfriend were fooling around. So now I'll just tell your parents that you're gay." Then again, it does seem that several officers were involved, so maybe department culpability does exist. I don't know.
However .... I think they're going to have a hard time finding a jury that will convict. For one thing, if they get a fair number of parents on the jury, they will almost certainly feel that they would want to know. Parents always think they want to know what's happening with their kids. The other issue is that, although the police may have exceeded their authority, they certainly couldn't have foreseen the results. (Not that they would have cared, given their behavior.)
This is already the second or third time around for this case. The first time, the family was simply arguing for the right to sue.
There is also a Marcus Wayman Memorial Campaign website, collecting information and requesting donations to continue the court battle.Posted by iain at January 27, 2003 01:40 PM
Hi i'm Megin Marcus's little sister Marcus was a great person he lookeed out for Miles (my little brother) and I, I miss him dearly i'm glad we dont have to go through another trial it was hard enough the first time but to then do it again i dont know if i would be cappable of it I just hope that what happened to us doesnt happen to anyone else againPosted by Megin Sterling at September 16, 2003 11:03 AM