"Justice for Julio" Vigil for a 25-year old who died in NYC's gay bar

Friends and members of the community gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight Vigil and Moment of Silence in Memory of Julio Ramirez (25), who died shortly after leaving a New York City gay bar.

NewsEditor
NewsEditor
09 June 2022 Thursday 12:59
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"Justice for Julio" Vigil for a 25-year old who died in NYC's gay bar

Friends and members of the community gathered Wednesday night for a candlelight Vigil and Moment of Silence in Memory of Julio Ramirez (25), who died shortly after leaving a New York City gay bar.

Ramirez, an Brooklyn social worker, met up on April 20 with a friend for a night out at Hell's Kitchen. Hell's Kitchen is a Manhattan neighborhood well-known for its vibrant restaurant and bar scene. The Ritz Bar and Lounge was their last stop, a multilevel gay bar located in the heart of the neighborhood’s Restaurant Row.

According to his brother, Ramirez walked away from the Ritz at 3:17 AM with three unidentified men after he was separated from his friend. Ramirez was the only one left in the taxi when the driver approached him to report that he had a non-responsive passenger in his vehicle. Ramirez died at a local hospital at 4:49 AM on April 21. The initial cause of death was listed as "possible drug abuse".

Carlos Ramirez, his brother, identified him as John Doe at first. He said that he was not carrying his phone or wallet when he died. In the days that followed his death, Julio's bank accounts were depleted of $20,000.

"Julio was someone that was loved. "I think this whole thing is suspicious and I do hope we get answers soon," Ramirez told NBC New York by Karinina Quimpo. It's not normal for him to get in a taxi with strangers and give away his phone.

A crowd of 60 people attended Wednesday's vigil. Many held "Justice for Julio” signs as they marched down the street towards nearby Times Square. Participants expressed their hope that they could raise awareness about Ramirez's mysterious passing and encourage investigators to find answers.

Catie Savage from Hell's Kitchen organized the vigil. She expressed frustration at the lack of information available to the public regarding Ramirez's passing.

Savage stated that "there are still people who did this, who know if they've done it to someone else?" This can easily happen again if they aren't brought to justice.

Gerardo Madrid, another vigil participant, also lives in the area and said that there should be awareness about criminals targeting vulnerable people outside of our spaces.

Madrid stated that Madrid believes there are many people in the country who have been affected by similar cases. "The better we can spread awareness about how to protect ourselves and keep our community safe, the more we will be able to do so."

Chris Lebron, a Hell's Kitchen resident and community activist, said that he was concerned by the inability to receive updates from the New York Police Department. He also expressed frustration at the fact that Ramirez's murder was not immediately known.

Lebron stated, "Finally we are talking about his," "A Latino life was lost and we are now discussing him. It is inexcusable that this took so long.

Some gathered at Wednesday's vigil expressed concern that Ramirez was victimized and targeted because he was gay.

Participant Sam Carnicelli said to NBC New York, "It's very sad." "It wasn’t a random act and I fear there will be more targets."

According to the NYPD, an investigation into Ramirez’s death is ongoing and no official cause of death has been determined.

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