- Charlie Rogers, a 33-year-old lesbian woman, reported a horrific hate crime, saying three men came into her house while she slept and sliced anti-gay slurs into her skin.
- Thousands immediately denounced the attack and rallied to support Rogers.
- Police didn't rule out the possibility that Rogers staged the attack and eventually arrested her, accusing her of lying to investigators.
Lincoln's Journal-Star newspaper observed that "the powder keg certainly was stuffed with enough explosives to do considerable damage to the Lincoln Police Department, the gay and lesbian community and the city particularly in the face of the intense media attention and scrutiny about the incident which was covered nationally."
Instead, police investigators kept the lines of communications open ensuring local LGBT leaders were kept up to speed on the results and efforts of their investigation into the alleged crime.
The LGBTQ community leaders, while urging support for the victim, told the community to have faith in a police force that had built a reputation for taking hate crimes seriously.
“There was not a single moment where I lacked trust,” said Tyler Richard, president of Outlinc, an LGBT equality rights group said and added "Lincoln police are professional and he wouldn't hesitate to tell someone to go to police to report a hate crime."
After police arrested Charlie Rogers for allegedly making up the attack, local LGBT leaders rallied to support each other. In a joint news release issued after Rogers was arrested, the groups said that apart from her case, hate crimes do happen in Lincoln, and victims should report them to the same investigators who believed Rogers lied about the crime against her.The department met with LGBT leaders three times after July 22, said Public Safety Director Casady, to keep them informed of what was going on.“It was really, really gratifying to see that level of trust and collaboration.” ~ The Journal-Star
“Our recent experience gives us confidence that any crime in Lincoln will be thoroughly and fairly investigated."