Tulsa Police: Dallas Article About Death Of Gay Man Is 'False'

Thursday, August 7th 2014, 9:39 am
By: Richard Clark

The Tulsa Police says a story posted by the Dallas Voice on August 5, 2014 about the death of a gay man in Tulsa contains "false information."

The Dallas Voice calls itself "The Premier Media Source for LGBT Texas." On Tuesday, in a post attributed to Dallas activist C.D. Kirven, it accused the Tulsa Police Department of failing to investigate the death of Benny Longoria, 40.

According to Kirven's post, a friend found the body of Benny Longoria, 40, in his Tulsa apartment on June 20.

"Representatives of the property management company that operated the apartment complex reportedly said there was blood everywhere in the apartment, and yet Tulsa police continue to refuse to investigate this as a suspicious death, despite the family’s repeated pleas that they do so," wrote Kirven.

Kirven also said no autopsy was performed "and Longoria’s body was immediately cremated at the request of police, due to his HIV status."

The Tulsa Police Department released a statement about the case, saying the Dallas Voice never contacted anyone with the department, including Sergeant Dave Walker who was mentioned in the story.

The statement reads, in part:

"Mr. Longoria’s death was not suspicious in nature therefore it was not further investigated. The Tulsa Police Department does not investigate deaths in which there are no signs of foul play and the individual’s attending physician will sign the death certificate. The Tulsa Police Department responds to many natural deaths in which the attending physician signs the death certificate and there is no autopsy conducted.

Sgt. Walker and other members of the Department have spoken with the family members of Mr. Longoria several times to provide information reference area funeral homes, the medical examiner’s phone number as well as providing them with the victim’s obituary."

The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner's office says Longoria died of natural causes, which were complications of chronic ethanol abuse and that there was no foul play.

The ME's office also pointed out that law enforcement agencies have no authority to order a body be cremated and that did not happen in this case. The body was cremated, the ME's office said, but that request came from the family through legal forms it signed at the funeral home.