BREAKING: Pedestrian critically injured by hit-and-run driver on Cedar Springs strip

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post stated that the pedestrian was struck in the lighted crosswalk at 3900 Cedar Springs Road, at the intersection of westbound Reagan Street. According to police, the pedestrian was actually struck in the non-lighted crosswalk at 3850 Cedar Springs Road, which is at the intersection of eastbound Reagan Street.

A pedestrian crossing Cedar Springs Road was critically injured Thursday night when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver near the crosswalk at 3850 Cedar Springs Road, at the intersection of Reagan Street eastbound. There is only a painted crosswalk on the street and no traffic signals or lights at the intersection, near Thai Lotus Restaurant and the Drama Room.

Wayne Earl Priest, 55, who lives in the 2800 block of Reagan Street, was crossing Cedar Springs Road eastbound shortly after 9 p.m., according to a police report. A witness saw Priest “walking outside of the northern portion of the crosswalk by about 2 feet and then stop in the left lane near the double yellow lines.”

The witness said the suspect’s vehicle exited a private drive to the north and began traveling southbound on Cedar Springs, the report states. The front left side of the suspect’s vehicle struck the left side of Priest. The impact was so severe that it caused Priest’s shoe to fly off and strike the witness’ vehicle. Another witness told police he was “not totally certain” whether Priest was in the crosswalk at the time of the collision.

Priest was taken to Parkland hospital in critical condition. The suspect who struck Priest failed to stop and render aid or leave his information. A description of the suspect’s vehicle was not available.

UPDATE:

Lt. Scott Bratcher of the Dallas Police Department’s Traffic Division said the suspect’s vehicle is described only as a maroon four-door.

“Right now we’re looking for anybody who’s seen anything or knows anything to call our Vehicle Crimes Unit,” Bratcher said Friday afternoon. “That’s usually how we end up solving these things.”

The number for DPD’s Vehicle Crimes Unit is 214-670-5817.

Bratcher said he had no update on Priest’s condition.

—  John Wright

Complaint: LGBT immigrants abused, neglected at detention centers run by Homeland Security

The National Immigration Justice Center has filed civil rights complaints on behalf of 13 LGBT immigrants who were allegedly abused and neglected at detention centers run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in nine states, including one in Houston. The Heartland Alliance’s NIJC filed the complaints today in a letter addressed to Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, calling on the department to investigate and implement new policies.

The group has also launched a petition calling on the DHS and President Barack Obama to end the abuse of LGBT immigrants in detention.

The 13 complaints include allegations of sexual assault, denial of adequate medical care, long-term solitary confinement, discrimination and abuse, and ineffective complaints and appeals process. Below are a few examples from the letter, which you can download in its entirety here:

• [Juan] was sexually assaulted by two other detainees. Despite repeated requests for a transfer to another facility because he feared for his safety [Juan] was not transferred until three months after the incident, when ICE Headquarters intervened. In the meantime, the only “protection” that the Otero County Detention Center offered was placement in the “hole.” (Otero County Detention Center, New Mexico)

• [Delfino] was held in segregation for four months, justifying their decision on the basis that [Delfino] presented “effeminately.” Facility staff refused to provide [Delfino] a Bible and permitted him only one hour of recreation – in a cold nine- by-thirteen-foot cell – per day. (Houston Processing Center, Texas)

• [Monica] continues to be denied hormone therapy, despite her use of hormones for ten years prior to immigration detention, and her physical and psychological reliance on them. [Monica], now detained for over five months, told NIJC staff, “I can’t even look at myself in the mirror anymore,” due to returning facial and body hair and other distressing changes. [Monica], an asylum seeker who has suffered grave past abuse in Mexico, also received no treatment for her trauma- related depression. She attempted suicide in February 2011 – the facility put her in solitary confinement as punishment. (Santa Ana City Jail, California)

• [Alexis] was repeatedly called a “faggot” by guards, who also made jokes about her dying of AIDS. They singled her out for public searches in which they forced her to remove her outer clothing and mocked her exposed breasts. (Theo Lacy Facility, California)

—  John Wright

Rutgers Urged to Improve Student Safety

TYLER CLEMENTI DORM 20101001 X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMA gay rights group presented Rutgers University with proposals to make the campus safer for LGBT students following the suicide last month of freshman Tyler Clementi.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

GLSEN Releases LGBT Student Survey – School Safety Still a Serious Concern

Today, GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, released its National School Climate Survey, which documents the experiences of LGBT students from across the country. The 2009 National School Climate Survey shows that while progress has been made in providing safe schools for LGBT youth, much work remains to be done. Among the report’s key findings:

• 84.6% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 40.1% reported being physically harassed and 18.8% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation.

• 63.7% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 27.2% reported being physically harassed and 12.5% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their gender expression.

• Nearly two-thirds (61.1%) of students reported that they felt unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation, and more than a third (39.9%) felt unsafe because of their gender expression.

• The presence of a gay-straight alliance, supportive teachers and staff members, and a school anti-bullying policy all contributed to an improved climate for LGBT students.  Click here for the full report.

HRC thanks GLSEN for its extensive efforts on this report, which included gathering data from over 7,000 LGBT students, and for its pioneering efforts to improve the climate of schools for LGBT youth. As the report indicates, much work remains to be done to ensure that safe schools become a reality for LGBT youth across our nation.

HRC, along with GLSEN, is currently supporting two bills in the U.S. Congress that would foster a safe and inclusive environment for LGBT students – the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA, H.R. 2262, S. 3739), which would require school districts receiving federal funds to adopt codes of conduct prohibiting bullying and harassment, and the Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA, H.R. 4530, S. 3390), which would prohibit any school program or activity receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against any public school student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Let your Members of Congress know that you support the SSIA and SNDA because all students deserve an education free of discrimination, harassment and bullying.

Thanks to HRC staff counsel Aaron Welo for his contributions to this post.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Air New Zealand Safety Film: Hot Ruggers & A Rebuffed Kiss Request From A Steward

The new passenger safety film from Air New Zealand is cute enough and includes lots of hotties from the famed All Blacks rugby club. But I’m not sure how I feel about the kiss request from the male flight attendant, which is turned down with a grimace by the handsome player. At the 2:45 mark.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright