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Transgender Woman dies after being beaten in front of NYPD precinct

Posted by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM
  • 31 Replies


Transgender Woman Dies After Beating in Front of NYPD Precinct

 Islan Nettles was out in New York City with friends when a group of young men approached her, learned she was a transgender woman and began taunting and maliciously beating her-right in front of a police precinct in Harlem.

The fashion design student with delicate features was punched in the face, knocked to the ground and beaten until she lost consciousness on the night of August 16.

"They were called f****, they were called he-she's, she males, things of that nature," Nettles' mother told a local newscast.

Islan Nettles, born Vaughn Nettles, fell into a coma she would never awake from. She died Thursday after being taken off of life support. She was only 21.

The site of the violence, near a police station, highlights a startling increase in crimes against the LBGT, and what some view as a historic lack of police sympathy for crimes against the community. 

Nettles' alleged assailant, Paris Wilson, was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge and freed on $2,000 bail. Last Friday, Nettles' death was officially ruled a murder. According to a spokesperson for the New York County District Attorney's Office, Wilson has not yet been arraigned on any murder charges, telling TakePart that "charges will be updated pending further investigation."

That investigation could go on for some time. Wilson's next scheduled court date, isn't until October 4.

The death of Nettles may strike some as a tragic, but otherwise freak incident for a progressive city like New York-one of the birthplaces of the modern LGBT-rights movement.

Statistics show, however, that isn't the case. The world may be outraged over Russian anti-gay atrocities, but according to the NYPD, anti-LGBT "bias crimes" have nearly doubled since this time last year here in New York City, from 13 to 22 according to the NYPD's most recent report on the issue.

"I don't think people should be shocked [at the death of Nettles]," says Shelby Chestnut, codirector of community organizing and public advocacy for the New York Anti-Violence Project. "This happens more regularly than the media reports. We see this type of violence all the time."

Back in May, Eugene Lovendusky, cofounder of the LGBT rights group Queer Rising, was assaulted by a 19-year-old man after being bombarded with anti-gay epithets. Lovendusky's assault came amid a series of high-profile hate crimes against New York LGBT residents-most notably the May 17 murder of 32-year-old gay man Mark Carson, who was shot to death in the streets of New York after being called "faggot" and "queer" by his assailants.

Chestnut says her organization has seen a major uptick in anti-LGBT assaults this year. That said, the problem of anti-LBGT violence has always existed, she says. Reporting is improving, which could account for some of the increase.

Police mistrust, and a general lack of empathy, particularly towards the transgender and people of color, have hampered efforts to document anti-LGBT incidents of violence in the past.

"I don't want to suggest [our stat] means more violence. These incidents may finally be reporting what has been happening in the streets for a long time."

If nothing else, Chestnut hopes Nettles' death will bring to light the tremendous violence faced by transgender women-particularly transgender women of color.

Seventy-two percent of anti-LGBT murders in America affected people of color and 53 percent of those were transgender women, Chestnut said.

The only way to end anti-LGBT violence is to keep talking about it and let the public know that incidents like the one that left Nettles dead are hardly uncommon, Chestnut said. Victims of hate violence also need to have the courage to come forward and tell their stories.

"Reporting violence helps end violence," says Chestnut. "Unless we know where violence is occurring, we can't do outreach in the area. We can't reach out to the general public know that anti-LGBT violence shouldn't be tolerated."

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:51 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Gold Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM
Oh, that's horrible! How can people do nothing when they see that, especially in front of a police station?

I hope the 'person' responsible is punished, properly. Not just slapped on the wrist.
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by Platinum Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM
In New York?
Rip poor girl.
I hope everyone who was involved in her killing gets life sentence with no possibility of parole ever!
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by Silver Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Absolutely horrible.  People are just terrible. 

by Platinum Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:00 AM
You know, with a name like "Paris" he isn't going to have an easy time in prison ... A touch ironic, don't you think?
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by Emerald Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:05 AM


Ma's deceit in murder

  • Last Updated: 2:34 AM, August 27, 2013
  • Posted: 1:20 AM, August 27, 2013

The mom of the thug who savagely beat a transgender woman to death tried to pin the crime on one of his friends, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

"She brought this innocent kid in to the [32nd] Precinct [in Harlem] and he confessed," saying he was too drunk to remember the crime, said one source.

But cops arrested Paris Wilson, 20, based on witnesses' description of the clothes of the slayer of Islan Nettles, 21, on Saturday, sources said., sources said.The medical examiner has ruled the case a homicide, and the DA's office is weighing whether to upgrade charges.

But the "other suspect" was wearing a completely different outfit that night and was released without being charged, sources said.

Wilson's mom has yet to be charged with hindering prosecution, but the Manhattan District Attorney's Office is "actively investigating this aspect of the case."

Wilson made a pass at Nettles, thinking that she was born a woman, but Nettles told him she wasn't, sources said.

Embarrassed, Wilson traded insults with Nettles, but the war of words soon escalated into violence, sources said.

"Nettles initially beat the crap out of him, but then Wilson turned the tables on her and beat her into a coma," a police source said.

Police responded and arrested Wilson on assault charges.

Last Thursday

by Ruby Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM
1 mom liked this
That is terrible. I hope he will be charged with murder soon.
by Nikki on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

This is horrible. Sad

by on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM
So what happened. The trans beat the guy, who beat him back. Somehow hearing two sides makes me less sorry for the transexual.
by Emerald Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:56 AM

 Where did you see that?

Quoting AliKatAK47:

So what happened. The trans beat the guy, who beat him back. Somehow hearing two sides makes me less sorry for the transexual.


by Platinum Member on Aug. 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM
So if Obama doesnt address this personally does it mean he hates the transgendered?
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