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Death Used to Bolster Hate-Crimes Bill Proves Accidental

from staff reports

Autopsy discredits family’s account of what happened.

A suspicious death that was used to as a call to support a hate-crimes bill has turned out to be accidental.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., leveraged the death of 72-year-old Andrew Anthos, a gay-identified Detroit man, in calling for action on the legislation. On March 2, he told his colleagues in the Senate how someone “struck Anthos in the back with a metal pipe, leaving him critically injured, lying in the snow.”

Anthos’ family, the news media and many other politicians claimed he had been beaten by someone who yelled gay slurs. But an autopsy revealed this week that his death was caused by arthritis that led to a fall — not an attack.

Despite the evidence, Sean Kosofsky with the Triangle Foundation, a gay-activist group in Michigan, said he remains steadfast in his belief that Anthos was beaten.

“We stick by the family wholeheartedly in still qualifying this crime as a hate crime,” he told Family News in Focus.