Oklahoma prosecutors say no charges in Nex Benedict case, NPR reports.


Prosecutors in Oklahoma have decided not to pursue charges in the death of 16-year-old nonbinary student Nex Benedict, whose passing was ruled a suicide following a fight with high school classmates. Nex, who had been targeted by bullies due to their gender identity, sustained significant injuries in the altercation. Despite the severity of the injuries, Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler cited a lack of evidence to press charges, stating that the fight was deemed as mutual combat.

The decision not to prosecute has sparked criticism from Nex’s family attorneys, LGBTQ+ advocates, and organizations like the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation president. Officials involved in the case have been accused of failing Nex and the community at large. The school district where the incident took place refuted claims of ignoring disciplinary actions and emphasized the support provided to students in light of the tragedy. Meanwhile, body cam footage revealed details of the altercation leading to Nex’s hospitalization and subsequent passing.

Nex’s case has shed light on the challenges faced by transgender youth, with advocates calling for reforms to bullying laws and heightened awareness of mental health issues. The incident underscores the disproportionate suicide rates among transgender youth compared to their cisgender peers, a problem exacerbated by anti-LGBTQ+ legislation across the nation. The impact of such laws and societal discrimination on the mental well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals continues to be a pressing concern in communities striving for greater inclusivity and support.

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