Tuesday, December 24, 2013

NY Islan Nettles Case Meeting

Islan Nettles Murder Appeal TransGriot Note:  From the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP)

On December 20 trans community leaders Laverne Cox and Brooke Cerda Guzman, along with representatives from the Audre Lorde Project’s Trans Justice and the New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) met with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office regarding the Islan Nettles investigation after misdemeanor charges were dropped against Paris Wilson on November 19, 2013. 

Islan Nettles was attacked on August 17 in Harlem by an individual or group of individuals shouting anti-transgender slurs.  Ms. Nettles was taken to Harlem Hospital for her injuries and on Thursday August 22, was taken off of life support and died.

At the meeting, community leaders spoke about their concerns about the real danger that transgender women of color face in New York City and the need for the District Attorney’s Office to prioritize violence against transgender women of color.  The District Attorney’s Office assured community leaders that the Islan Nettles case remains a top priority and that they were doing everything in their power to move the investigation forward.  The group also spoke about ways in which the District Attorney’s Office and transgender women of color could work together to create safety and highlight the disproportionate impact of violence in transgender and gender non-conforming communities.

The Anti Violence Project (AVP) will continue to work with transgender community leaders and the District Attorney’s Office on the Islan Nettles case and on issues of safety for all transgender women of color in New York City.

AVP stands with transgender women of color, our allies, community members and community leaders in saying we will not be silent about the violence faced by transgender women and transgender women of color in our city.  In September 2013, at AVP’s Courage Awards, Laverne Cox called the violence against transgender women of color “a state of emergency,” and it is exactly that, both here in New York City and across the nation.  The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) most recent report, Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2012, documented 25 anti-LGBTQ murders.  73.1% of all anti-LGBTQ homicide victims in 2012 were people of color and 53.8% were transgender women.

So far this year we know of 14 transgender women nationally who have been victims of homicide.  In many of these cases, no motive is known, and we are concerned about the pace of investigations, the serial misgendering of the victims by police and media, and by a lack of public awareness about these tragic deaths.

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online at http://avp.org/get-help/report-violence.

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