Former Bowie State University student and ROTC member Richard Collins III has been honored by the Department of Defense as he was posthumously promoted to Army first lieutenant.
Democratic Representatives Steny H. Hoyer and Anthony Brown, and Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said in a joint statement that Collins’ promotion recognizes his bravery “in the face of evil” and saying that it was “overdue.”
On May 20, 2017, Richard Collins III was murdered while visiting friends on the campus of University of Maryland, College Park in a hate crime after he was stabbed by a white man who attended UMD. This came a day after being commissioned as 2nd lieutenant and three days before he was set to graduate from Bowie State.
His killer was found guilty of first-degree murder but his hate crime charge was dismissed by a judge because the judge felt the state didn’t meet the burden of proof to find the killer guilty of a hate crime. He has yet to be sentenced as proceedings were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Here is a statement from Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy on Richard Collins III’s promotion,
The Army considered the standards and criteria required for an honorary promotion and found that 2nd Lt. Collins displayed exemplary conduct in the performance of his duties commensurate with a first lieutenant. Though Collins’ life was cut short, he exhibited character and exemplary conduct of an officer of a higher rank. Collins was a model student and cadet at the university located outside Washington”
HONORARY PROMOTION: The @USArmy granted an honorary promotion to @BowieState ROTC student Richard W. Collins III. Collins, who was killed just two days after commissioning, has been promoted to First Lieutenant. https://t.co/fKssANaCom pic.twitter.com/xEY5wbWaTz
— ABC 7 News – WJLA (@ABC7News) May 28, 2020