Questions remain over the murder of Seaman August Provost who was shot wile standing sentry duty sometime overnight Tuesday at Camp Pendleton Marince Corp Base. His body was found at the end of his shift at around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. It had been burned in an apparent attempt to conceal evidence.
Hus aunt, Rose Roy, of Beaumont, Texas, told CNN on Friday that Provost told her that he was being arassed because of his sexual orientation and race:
He was frustrated by it,” she said. She said she had advised him to speak to someone of higher rank, but said she wasn’t sure if he had done so.
“He went to serve and protect, but he didn’t get the protection,” she said. Brown said Thursday that he had no information on claims of harassment.
Asked whether she believed her nephew was killed because of race and sexual orientation, she said, “In my heart, I do.” She added, “it was like an execution-style killing, and nobody does that unless you have that kind of hatred in your heart.”
It’s unclear that Provost reported the harassment to higher-ups. Doing so would have revealed his sexual orientation to his superiors, which may trigger an investigation under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Such an investigation would then have led to Provost’s dismissal from the Navy.
Rep. Bob Filner (D-Chula Vista) has already asked the Department of Defense and the Marine Corps to investigate whether the killing at Camp Pendleton was a hate crime. So far, the Navy, which is leading the investigation, says they have no evidence that Provost’s murder was a hate crime. The Navy has one sailor in custody who “has been linked to the commission of this crime through both physical evidence and his own statement,” according to Navy spokesman Capt. Matt Brown.
A candlelight vigil is planned to honor Provost in front of Camp Pendleton this Friday, July 10 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.