Search for suspects in the brutal beating death of a gay rights activist

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QUEENS (PIX11) – It’s been nearly a year since gay rights activist Louis Rispoli was murdered in the Queens neighborhood he loved.  His killers are still on the loose, and police haven’t forgotten.

There’s been a renewed push by the NYPD to track down those responsible.

“They still haven’t found anything yet.  But it’s so nice that there’s coverage now, and that they’re still working on it,” said Danyal Lawson, Rispoli’s husband.

Last October 20, Rispoli, 62, took one of his routine late night walks, but never returned home.  A witness saw him  getting out of a car with three men near the corner of 43rd Avenue and 42nd Street in Sunnyside.  Police have put out sketches of two of them:  a white male in his 20s and an Hispanic male in his 30s.  He was struck in the head from behind with a blunt object by the men, according to police.  He died of his brain injuries five days later at Elmhurst Hospital.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said cops responded quickly to the attack, but then  dropped the ball.

“I’m not a police officer,” said Van Bramer, a close friend of the victim.  “But I certainly know if you have an eyewitness who saw what happened, and they were on the scene and talking to 911, that you would show up, put them in a cruiser and take them around the neighborhood and say ‘do you see the car you just saw?’”

It wasn’t until late the next day that police established a crime scene.  The NYPD is currently conducting two separate investigations—one by the internal affairs bureau to find out why officers initially failed to take action, and the other to focus on the crime itself, with the possibility of it being a bias attack.

The suspects may have fled in a white or grey four door sedan with a loud muffler.

A $22,000 reward has been offered, leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).