Politics

Ken Buck: GLBT community attacking him now lauded transgender murder prosecution (video)

Ken Buck ran afoul of the GLBT community when he likened being gay to alcoholism on Meet the Press, prompting activists to demand a retraction. So is Buck prejudiced? He didn't appear to be in April 2009 when, as Weld County DA, his office successfully prosecuted a case that advocates said was the first time a state hate crime statute resulted in a conviction in a transgender person's murder -- a victory he hasn't mentioned during his campaign.

As DA, Buck charged a man named Allen Andrade with first-degree murder for the 2008 bludgeoning death of Angie Zapata, an eighteen-year-old transgender Greeley resident. He also charged Andrade with a bias-motivated crime, arguing that Andrade killed Zapata because she was transgender. A jury agreed, and Andrade was sentenced to life in prison.

For more on the trial, read Westword's live blog of the proceedings and our feature, "Seven Unanswered Questions About the Trial of Angie Zapata's Killer."

After the verdicts were read, Buck held a press conference. "Greeley, Colorado is an incredibly tolerant community," he told the gathered reporters, some of whom were transgender. "The one thing we don't tolerate are violent acts toward our citizens."

More recently, Buck's spokesman called the controversy over his comparison of homosexuality to alcoholism "a distraction."

See video of the entire press conference below:

More from our Politics archive: "Ken Buck's last name rhymes with 'Shmuck' and that's no hoax (like global warming)."

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar