The Lateisha Green hearing and Latest Rash of New York Transgender Hate Crimes
, a young transgender woman of color was shot and killed in Syracuse, New York in 2008 by a man who remains free today due to an “inconsistent” verdict, as decided by the New York State Supreme Court’s Fourth Department Appellate Division in July 2013. Today there is a rally in Albany as the New York Court of Appeals holds a hearing on whether to reinstate the hate crime conviction against assailant Dwight DeLee.
“We stand with our community in support of Lateisha Green, a young woman who was taken from us too soon, and whom the justice system has utterly failed,” said Empire State Pride Agenda’s Transgender Rights organizer, Eòghann Renfroe.
Apparently so far, Lateisha’s family and community are now faced with the knowledge that the system did not find her life, like those of so many other transgender women of color, valuable enough to fully protect, suggest Renfroe.
Sadly, this is not an isolated incident.
In the past few weeks alone there have been three hate crimes in New York. One survivor was beaten because he was perceived to be gay. Two survivors were targeted based on their gender identity and expression.
Later this afternoon activists and allies will also gather at the Philippine Consulate General in New York City to rally for justice for Jennifer Loude, a transgender woman who was killed by a U.S. Marine in the Philippines.
Hate violence against LGBT New Yorkers increased 26% according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP) and transgender and gender non-conforming individuals continue to be the most targeted. Since the night that Lateisha was shot and killed, more than 90 people have been murdered in this country, simply for being transgender. Those people were overwhelmingly transgender women, and overwhelming transgender women of color. In so many of these cases, no one is ever brought to justice for the deaths of our sisters – even if, like Islan Nettles in New York City just one year ago, they are attacked and beaten into a coma literally across the street from a police station.
We live in a state which prides itself in its history of justice, equality, and liberty, but in which any transgender person can be legally discriminated against just trying to shop at a grocery store. This isn’t about sending a man back to prison for a terrible crime. This is about sending a message that we will not stand by while the court, and the state, decide to value certain lives more than others.
We will continue to stand up in the face of injustice and demand that transgender New Yorkers are granted the same rights and protections as everyone else.
About the Empire State Pride Agenda
Founded in 1990, the Empire State Pride Agenda is New York’s statewide civil rights and advocacy group committed to achieving full equality and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) New Yorkers and our families. The Pride Agenda fights for these priorities by: educating policymakers, elected officials and the public; building coalitions and mobilizing allies; lobbying government officials; administering a Political Action Committee; and organizing and empowering the LGBT community. prideagenda.org