'Still Deserves Justice': Supporters Of Nex Benedict Gather For Vigil In Oklahoma City

Hundreds came to Oklahoma City's 39th Street District to demand accountability in the investigation into Benedict's death. Despite delays in information from officials, the community hopes policymakers intervene.

Saturday, February 24th 2024, 10:53 pm

By: News 9


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Supporters gathered on Saturday following the death of a non-binary Owasso teen.

Investigators say 16-year-old Nex Benedict died two weeks ago, one day after a fight at school.

Police say a preliminary autopsy report indicates Benedict did not die as a result of trauma despite going to the hospital that same day.

Rural Oklahoma Pride hosted a candlelit service and vigil for Benedict at Point A Gallery in northwest OKC.

Hundreds came to Oklahoma City's 39th Street District to demand accountability in the investigation into Benedict's death. Despite delays in information from officials, the community hopes policymakers intervene.

Packed tightly between buildings in Oklahoma City's LGBTQ-friendly business district, the crowd brought candles and words of support for Benedict.

"Nex is still worth remembering and Nex still deserves justice," one speaker said.

Benedict died on Feb. 8.

That's one day after their family says a group of girls attacked Benedict in the restroom.

"Our spirits are exhausted," another speaker said.

In an interview with a school resource officer at the hospital that same day, Benedict reveals the girls allegedly taunted Benedict about the way they laughed and dressed.

Benedict admitted to pouring water on the girls in response before the situation became violent.

Activists at this vigil expressed frustration with the response from police and school officials.

One says they've seen these escalations play out in their own children's school.

"The rhetoric was getting worse, so we made the incredibly difficult decision to break up our family and I moved two of my four children to Colorado," a speaker said.

The attendees spoke out against what they feel is a dangerous landscape.

"When I was in high school, surrounded by Queer people and were terrified," one person said. "We were scared and we're still scared and that hasn't stopped."

Benedict's family said in a statement this week they would begin their own and independent investigations into their death.

Owasso police say it could take weeks to months to get a final autopsy report.

Related Coverage:

  1. Family Issues Statement About Owasso Student's Identity; Cause Of Death Still To Be Determined
  2. Investigation Into The Death Of An Owasso High School Student
  3. Funeral Held For 16-Year-Old Owasso Student After Unexpected Death
  4. 16-Year-Old Owasso Student Dies At Hospital 1 Day After Fight At High School
  5. Owasso Mother Plans Vigil For Nex Benedict With Permission From Family
  6. Nex Benedict Investigation: Police Release 911 Calls, Video From School, ER From Day Of Fight
  7. 'Did Not Die As A Result Of Trauma': Owasso Police Detail Nex Benedict's Death, Family Issues New Statement
  8. Search Warrant Served At Owasso School Day After Nex Benedict's Death
  9. Owasso Students Express Concern After Increase In Threats, Police On Campus


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Nex Benedict, a non-binary student who attended Owasso High School, died on Feb. 8th the day after they were involved in a physical altercation in a campus bathroom.

Owasso Public School officials said that the fight was broken up in less than two minutes by other students and a staff member.

They said everyone involved walked to the principal's office and nurse's office. They say each student was given a health assessment by a school nurse, and the school called all the parents and let them know they could file police reports, and School Resource Officers were also available.

School leaders say they determined none of the students needed to be taken to a hospital by ambulance but recommended to Benedict's parent that they receive a further inspection. Benedict's parent did call the police later that day from the hospital, wanting to make a report.

Police say Benedict was released from the hospital that day but was rushed back the next day and died. A judge signed the search warrant less than 24 hours after Benedict died, giving police authority to collect evidence at the school.

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