So. Florida Continues to Seek Justice for Slain Teen

No one has come forward in the murder of teenager Simmie Williams, who was slain a year ago in Fort Lauderdale, but many in the community still continue the fight to find his killer.

BY Michelle Garcia

February 27 2009 1:00 AM ET

Furthermore, Rajner
said that when King tried to be compensated after the shooting,
authorities denied her claim, saying that Williams engaged in
unlawful activities contributing to his own death.

"But they
haven't solved the case," Rajner said, "so how
could they even make such a claim? It's
outrageous."

Rajner said that adding
another "$10,000 to $15,000 for information leading up to
the arrest would definitely lead somebody to come forward... If
that's enough to help someone move away, [to protect the
informant], it could make a huge difference."

The quest to find
Williams's murderer continues. Rajner said that posters
asking for information about the crime are
displayed in juvenile detention centers and jail cells
typically reserved for effeminate men, some of whom identify as
gay or transgender. In Fort Lauderdale and the broader south
Florida community, several segments of the population have come
together to rally around King and speak more openly about
issues that this case touches on, like economic differences,
hate crimes, safety in schools, and police attitudes toward
minorities. Williams's life has been honored in vigils and
town hall meetings, bringing together local leaders and
concerned citizens from different walks of life. Community
members convened a town hall meeting on hate crimes
that raised an additional $4,000 to add to
the Crime Stoppers reward, bringing the total to $5,000.

"Simmie's case
has become about crossing the community walls, and the
'cause walls' that we put up sometimes," Hudson
said. "It's not about being gay or transgender,
it's about race and class, and all of these other issues
that play into that. It's forced us to expand our outreach
[to include issues of] poverty, race relations,
general acceptance, and social justice."

Tags: Crime

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