Hate-crime victim George Steven Lopez MercadoThis is precisely the sort of crime that the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act was intended to punish:

According to TowleRoad:

Over the weekend the brutalized body of gay teen George Steven Lopez Mercado was found by the side of a road in Puerto Rico. The police investigator suggested that he deserved what he got because of the “type of lifestyle” he was leading.

As a result of police attitudes, the chance for successful prosecution and conviction is almost nil.

If the investigator and his superiors do not prosecute this murder to the fullest extent of the law, then the “law enforcement” officials of Cayey, Puerto Rico, should be held accountable under the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act for failure to carry out their duties. And the perpetrator of this murder should be punished just as severely as if he had murdered someone on the basis of the victim’s religion or race.

Roughly translated, activist Pedro Julio Serrano said: “It is inconceivable that the investigating officer suggests that the victim deserved his fate, like a woman deserves rape for wearing a short skirt. We demand condemnation of this investigator and demand that Superintendente Figueroa Sancha replace him with someone capable of investigating this case without prejudice.”

Humanity Calling Randy Thomas: Do you still think that antigay crimes like this should be protected by the police, Exodus, and Focus on the Family in the name of political correctness?

UPDATE: Edge reports this evening:

Puerto Rico’ Civil Rights Commission and Puerto Rico Para Todos, a local activist organization, have asked the Puerto Rico Police Department to take disciplinary action against Rodriguez. The PRPD has removed the investigator from the case, but local activists plan to protest outside the territorial capital in San Juan on Thursday. They also plan to hold a vigil later this

The Puerto Rican government added sexual orientation to its hate crimes laws in 2002, but Serrano complained local police have not used it to prosecute those accused of anti-gay violence. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has announced it will take jurisdiction over the case if local investigators conclude L??pez’ killer or killers murdered him because of his sexual