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No Criminality Yet Uncovered In Suicide Of Jamey Rodemeyer

It may be nearly impossible to prove that there was any pattern of or criminality in the bullying related suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer. The Williamsville School District appears to have just one documented case of bullying involving Jamey, and that one occurred when he was at Heim Middle School. This does not mean that he was not bullied at other times.

Buffalo News reports that:

He may have been referring to an incident that Jamey himself recounted in a separate YouTube video six months ago when he was an eighth-grader.

Describing himself as “14 and gay,” Jamey said his class participated in an activity in which students offered their opinions in response to various questions.

In one instance, the question was, “Should gay marriage be legal in all 50 states?”

“A kid was making fun of me because I was gay,” Jamey said. “I didn’t really care. He called me disgusting because being gay is disgusting.”

Jamey recalled that the student teacher who was leading the class took action, called the guidance office, and the vice principal. That student got detention, and Jamey went on to defend same-sex marriage in his class. However, he left the room in tears a bit later. He stated “I kind of got upset because of the lives that have been lost because of gay bullying, and I ran out of the room crying.” He finished that video by thanking Lady Gaga, his idol, and referring to her song “Born This Way”. He stated “Lady Gaga, I want to make a difference. You are the reason why I am alive. You’re the reason why I was born. I was born this way.”

The reports of bullying may not have been made. What is more, Jamey lived much of his life online, and it is because of that reason the Amherst police have given Jamey’s computer and cellphone to the Erie County Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory to see if they could find what a paper trail has not produced- evidence of a pattern of bullying that could warrant charges of aggravated harassment and hate crimes.

Still, the bullying directed towards his sixteen-year-old sister Alyssa has been determined to not have risen to the level of criminality. The district is still investigating the incident, however.

Amherst Police Chief John C. Askey noted that single incidents at school or online may not actually rise to the level of unlawful behavior, investigators want to see whether or not there was a pattern of conduct online or at the school or both that could lead to criminal charges. The evidence from the electronic devices that belonged to Jamey could help determine that. Askey did note that hateful comments on his online accounts because to appear soon after Jamey declared that he was gay in late 2010. According to Askey “We’re looking at less than a half-dozen people over the psan of his time at Heim and North High School.”

The Buffalo News also reported:

Most recently, Alyssa and others at Williamsville North reported that at a homecoming dance Sept. 22, a juvenile student in a small group of other students stated that she was glad Jamey was dead, touching off a brief altercation in the school parking lot.

Police said that while there’s credible evidence that the incident occurred, the statement was not made in a direct confrontation with Alyssa and could not be considered a crime. School officials previously said a student has been suspended in connection with the incident.

“The comments were inappropriate and vile, and are certainly relevant to the larger investigation of incidents involving Jamey,” Askey said.

Police are also looking into an unreported and unconfirmed report of bullying whereby Jamey had a plate of brownies spat upon and given to him in the school cafeteria last month. The report came from Jamey’s own report of it to himself and it does not appear that he informed anyone else. Askey stated “We can’t say that those brownies were spit on, or that anything unlawful happened.”

Askey also reported that Jamey took to the online world to try and find support, but this also opened him up to a lot more hateful comments. Askey stated “Acts motivated by hate deserve extra attention from the police.” The police are saying that they hope to have some preliminary information on the case within a week or so. Askey also reported that the Rodemeyer family has been very understanding about their efforts. He stated “I know the public wants — and the Rodemeyer family wants — this done right. They want us to do this correctly, not quickly.”



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