Brandon McInerney

Dear Karoli: Remarkable If Imperfect Ally to Larry King


Dear Karoli,

First, I want to thank you for the work you have done on behalf of Larry King, and all kids who are different.  The well-reasoned lament you wrote is noteworthy not only for its quality, but for the fact that you are one of the very few heterosexual writers to grasp the significance of the Brandon McInerney mistrial:

Here is what isn’t in dispute: Brandon McInerney took his father’s Saturday Night Special from wherever it was stashed in the house. He loaded it with hollow-point bullets. He put it in his backpack and went to school. The day before he put the gun in his backpack he said he was going to bring his gun to school. When he got to school, he went to the computer lab, pulled out the gun, and shot Larry King in the back of the head.

That is not in dispute. All sides agree.

You would think, with that fact set, a jury could come to a verdict. And yet, they didn’t. Today the judge declared a mistrial after the jury deliberated 15 hours because 7 jurors wanted to convict him on voluntary manslaughter and 5 wanted to convict him of 1st or 2nd degree murder.

I want to thank you even more for doing more than any other writer I am aware of to try to keep the injustice this week from happening, as in this open letter to McInerney's then attorney:

Memo to William Quest: Do NOT make excuses for Brandon McInerney. And whatever you do, do NOT blame the school or place the responsibility for Lawrence King’s shooting on their heads.

Just. Don’t.

I do not know that Larry has had a better or more compassionate advocate than you since his death.  And I thank you from the bottom of my heart for that. 

But if there is one thing that is clear from Larry King's behavior in the weeks before his death, it is that it was important to him to be recognized for what he was: attracted to boys.  Whether that would ultimately have resulted in him identifying as gay or as transgender is certainly unknowable, but I think it would bother Larry that the person who has stood up for him the most would write this about him:

The sly implication is that King had it coming. That the victim, the one cold in his grave, deserved what he got because, well, he was gay. Or looked gay. Or acted gay. I’m not sure any of us really know whether he was or wasn’t.

I don't think that's how he would like to be remembered.

Click here to keep reading.

The Ballad of Emmett Till and Larry King

The song I wrote today


Two boys murdered. Two times justice denied. The song I wrote the day Brandon McInerney's jury was unable to call it murder when he shot classmate Larry King twice in the head.

About Emmett Till

Today's news

Sorry for the poor performance, video, posting it at all, whatever.  This is what I have to say and how I have to say it:

Emmett he was a northern boy
Spent the summer down in Mississippi
Larry lived in Oxnard all his life
Larry made folks nervous, being too much of a sissy
Emmett shocked a young shopkeepers wife

Neither boy was perfect
They both liked to brag
Neither seems to know he was in danger
And neither one grew up to be a man

Brave, brave boy
Should have grown up to be a soldier
Brave, brave boy
Be my Valentine
Bye, Baby, Bye

Emmett flirted with Carolyn, and Larry flirted with Brandon
They broke the rules and so they had to go
Grown men came and stole a boy and took him off to smash him
Brandon brought his daddy's gun from home
Larry, he went easier, shot twice in the head
Emmett, they kept beating, left him seven kinds of dead
His mom only knew him by his ring

Brave, brave boy
Should have grown up to be a soldier
Brave, brave boy
Be my Valentine
Bye, Baby, Bye

JW and Roy were tried and they were found not guilty
And they bragged about their murder for the cash
Brandon's jury found a way to close their eyes to murder
Because they were taught that Larry, he was trash

And there are brave black kids like Emmett now
And some live in the White House
But others still get beat down every day
And there are boys and girls like Larry who can't walk to school in safety
Because they are transgendered or they're gay

And do they know their hope is in each other?
Cause Larry King and Emmett Till are brothers.

Brave girls and boys
Now's the time to be a soldier
Brave girls and boys
You're my valentine
Hi, Baby, hello


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