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Sat Jun 8, 2019, 03:45 PM

Philly Sheriff's LGBTQ Liaison Dies by Suicide

Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin, 27, was found dead in his office Friday morning, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The cause was a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office, adding that this information was pending confirmation from the medical examiner.

Austin was Philadelphia’s first openly gay deputy sheriff when he was hired in 2013 after having achieved the highest score on the deputy exam. He became the office’s first LGBTQ liaison in 2017.

“This is a tragedy for the Sheriff’s Office, Deputy Austin’s family, and the local LGBTQ community,” Sheriff Jewell Williams told the Inquirer. “Dante was a person who believed in and cared about everybody.” He was scheduled for promotion to sergeant on July 1.

Last year Austin and his partner, assistant city solicitor Robert “Tito” Valdez, served as a grand marshal couple for the Philly Pride Parade. This year’s parade will be held Sunday. “We’ll aim to have a Pride Weekend that is worthy of his legacy, but it will be difficult,” Chris Bartlett, executive director of the William Way LGBT Community Center, said at a vigil for Burke held at the center Friday afternoon, according to the Inquirer.

“Dante’s passing is a sad reminder that LGBTQ people have higher rates of suicide attempts and suicide ideation,” Reginald T. Shuford, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Pennsylvania affiliate, told the paper.

Deputy Sheriff Dante Austin


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Reply Philly Sheriff's LGBTQ Liaison Dies by Suicide (Original post)
left-of-center2012 Jun 2019 OP
irisblue Jun 2019 #1

Response to left-of-center2012 (Original post)

Sat Jun 8, 2019, 07:34 PM

1. 🕯️

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