Thursday, October 10, 2013

Around The Nation

New York
Arrest made in the killing of renowned Gay Equestrian Trainer
Brett Knight Booking Photo & Ross Reisner
KNOXVILLE -- An arrest was made Wednesday by the U. S. Marshals Service in connection with the shooting death of renowned openly gay Long Island equestrian riding instructor Ross Reisner.
A spokesperson for the U. S. Marshals Service in Knoxville told LGBTQ Nation Thursday that 45-year-old Brett Knight, was apprehended at a house in rural Seymour County south of Knoxville by U.S. marshals and a local law enforcement special ops team at around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The spokesperson said that Knight was arrested without incident and that two handguns had been recovered on the scene. He will face an extradition process on a homicide warrant out of Suffolk County, New York. No additional charges are expected to be filed in Tennessee.
The nationwide search for Knight was initiated after 50 year old Ross Reisner and his longtime partner Kevin Murray, were sitting on a couch at about 8:45 p.m. September 24 when an unknown gunman, using a high-caliber weapon, fired multiple rounds through the window of the victim’s East Setauket home on Long Island.
Reisner was shot in the chest and died later at Stony Brook University Hospital. Murray was grazed by a bullet and did not require medical treatment.
“This is not a random act,” Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, commander of the Suffolk homicide squad told LGBTQ Nation during the initial investigation. “Given the information we possess, I believe they were fired on by someone who was intentionally firing on them. The shooter or shooters entered the yard and fired shots through a window,” he said.
Suffolk Police said that Knight, a former American Express executive, was an estranged friend of Reisner who had once lived with the couple in a rented-out basement apartment in their home and Reisner's partner Kevin Murray had filed a harassment complaint against Knight. 
Ian Reisner, Ross Reisner's brother, told ABC News that Knight and his brother were friends for nearly 20 years.
Knight lived in an apartment inside of Reisner's home two years ago, but was evicted by the couple for erratic behavior, Ian Reisner said. Just months before Reisner's murder, someone sent a dead bird to the horse trainer's home, he said.
Reisner, speaking on behalf of the family Wednesday evening, expressed relief after Knight's arrest.
"The family is relieved that we are closer to resolution on this tragedy," an e-mailed statement read.
The U.S. Marshals Service and Suffolk Police have not disclosed Knight's location, or when or where Knight will be arraigned.
A Suffolk County Police spokesperson Thursday would not comment on how Knight had been developed as a suspect in the case citing the confidentiality of the ongoing investigation.

New law ensures LGBT seniors get respectful & competent health care
SACRAMENTO -- A new law signed by Governor Jerry Brown late Wednesday in a package of LGBTQ related legislation passed by the California General Assembly this past year will help ensure that the state's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors get respectful and competent elder care by integrating LGBT cultural competency instruction into the training received by residential care facility administrators.
Assembly Bill 663 was  authored by Assembly-member Jimmy Gomez,(D-Northeast Los Angeles) and sponsored by Equality California and the California Senior Legislature.
“Today marks a victory for the ever-growing LGBT population in our state and nation,” said Gomez. 
“LGBT seniors will now receive the care and respect they deserve. By 2030 there will be an estimated 3 million LGBT seniors in the United States; I am proud that California will lead the nation in preparing our caretakers to properly care for this growing demographic.”
Nationwide, there are an estimated 1.5 million LGBT elders, with that number projected to double by 2030. This is also the first generation to navigate the impact of HIV/AIDS on aging and health. By integrating cultural competency training for residential care administrators into the normal set of classes, LGBT seniors will worry less about being forced back into the closet.
“LGBT pioneers should live out their final years with dignity – not go back in the closet for fear of discrimination,” said John O’Connor, EQCA executive director. 
“LGBT seniors are amongst the most vulnerable in our population and thanks to Governor Jerry Brown and Assembly-member Jimmy Gomez, we are one step closer to better protecting them.”
Shirley Krohn, Senior Assembly-member with the California Senior Legislature noted; 
“Collectively, we recognized the isolation, neglect, discrimination and substandard care this community has had to endure over the years. With the Governor’s signature, this bill will sensitize facility personnel to the unique needs of the LGBT senior community."