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Author Topic: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station  (Read 793 times)

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Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« on: August 28, 2013, 05:32:29 PM »
http://news.yahoo.com/transgender-woman-dies-beating-front-nypd-precinct-201642369.html

Now, looking at some of the other topics on this board at the moment: Impending military actions against Syria, Russia's current laws, etc. I'm sure one woman's death isn't as globally or politically significant. In fact, it doesn't fall under Politics or Religion (at least not directly), and I suppose its not terribly controversial. Someone was just murdered, and I'm sure no one but the most cold hearted bigots would argue that its a tragedy.

However, as a resident of New York State (but not the city) this just shocked me straight to the core. I'm not naive, I know I live in a world where equality is still being paid for by blood, inch by slow, slow inch. But for this to happen right in front of a police station is just unbelievable to me. I mean, if the NYPD literally can't protect a woman literally right outside their door, what does that say about the state of NYC law enforcement?

I mean, how could a woman be beaten to death without a single cop noticing and intervening? I'm not going to jump the gun and assume that NYPD either doesn't care about transgendered people, or is bad at their job or anything. I recognize that its entirely possible this was just a horrible, horrible tragedy, and that simply no one heard it, no one happened to pass by at the time it was occurring. But even if that's the case, it doesn't excuse, in my opinion, the fact that apparently, murderers aren't even thinking twice about committing a brutal crime RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE POLICE STATION. Perhaps you can argue they were simply idiots, but the fact that no one stopped them just really strikes me as horrifying. These people saw a woman right in front of a police station and figured they could beat her to death. Right in front of a police station. And they were right.

Now it remains to be seen if they'll get away with it, and I'm personally hoping for medieval style executions, BUT, I know that's realistically not going to happen, so I'll settle for them being tossed away for a good 25+ years.

But I suppose this should be a discussion, and not just me raging at the state of the world, and how horrible humanity can be some times. So here's the question I'd like to ask. Why do you think violent transphobia is still so common in our 'civilized' world? How do you think this happened right in front of a police station? What do you think we, as people, could do to stop this from happening again? Is humanity always going to be like this, or is there some hope for a brighter tomorrow? Will we see that day in our lifetimes?

Offline Neysha

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 06:10:17 PM »
According to the New York Times the beating did happen across the street from the Police Station in question, on Frederick Douglas Boulevard and between 147th and 148th Street.



-View from 147th Street, Police Station on the right.



-View from 148th Street, Police Station entrance under the flagpole on the left.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 06:37:25 PM »
However, as a resident of New York State (but not the city) this just shocked me straight to the core. I'm not naive, I know I live in a world where equality is still being paid for by blood, inch by slow, slow inch. But for this to happen right in front of a police station is just unbelievable to me. I mean, if the NYPD literally can't protect a woman literally right outside their door, what does that say about the state of NYC law enforcement?
Not shocked, though generally depressed: Most of the Lieges. Trans* victimization statistics are quite literally unbelievably high to a lot of people, and authorities' handling of these cases is... to be polite, very poor. The shocking part:

Quote
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.”

Seriously, what the fuck?

(The other depressingly shocking part: Both of the linked articles get her name and pronouns right.)

But I suppose this should be a discussion, and not just me raging at the state of the world, and how horrible humanity can be some times. So here's the question I'd like to ask. Why do you think violent transphobia is still so common in our 'civilized' world? How do you think this happened right in front of a police station? What do you think we, as people, could do to stop this from happening again? Is humanity always going to be like this, or is there some hope for a brighter tomorrow? Will we see that day in our lifetimes?

Because transphobia is the visible way of handling trans* people in the media. Pretty much every sitcom has, at least once, included a joke where the punchline was essentually "Haha, trannies!". (The worse ones do an entire episode on it.) News reports tend overwhelmingly to focus on how weird trans* people are and misgender them constantly. When trans* voices are allowed, they're mocked, misgendered, and spoken over, and have to justify their right to exist. (I'm looking at you, CNN.) People refer to trans women as traps, and treat them as if that's their goal - and almost nobody calls them on it. Transphobia is normalized in Western culture. Violence is common. Violent transphobia is the natural result.

Offline Retribution

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 06:57:12 PM »
I do not know enough about the trans issue to comment. But I will say our legal system is glacial slow. Does not matter if it is a trans person or someone named Joe. Due diligence has turned into endless hand wringing and frankly it gets fucking old.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 07:06:43 PM »
Trans persons are perceived as threatening because by just being there, they render visible the seam between a person's body and who that person wishes to be, can or has to be. The carefully (often not consciously) stitched-up connection between sex and gender, between body and culturally framed face or persona, is unraveled a bit, it becomes open to look at - and that applies to all of us, not just to one particular TG who is standing there or even just to LGBTs. The presence of trans persons exposes the fact that gender isn't just dictated by your body, sometimes it's not a consequence of your body at all - and that makes the ordinary "cis patterning" look cut down to size. Especially to those who take it for granted every day. I think that's what really drives this kind of violence, it's the raw anger and confusion of a sexual gendered binariness that's rarely challenged in any serious way (not outside of specialized academic fields anyway).

"Real men", in order to be men without any feeling of being questioned or bracketed, have to have "real women" who behave like women because they are 100% bio women and then they can be counted on to act like women. Because they just do, you know, it's natural! Trans people tend to upset that scheme, no matter how good or how bad they are at passing, and that's why rules and punishments are required to keep them in their place
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 07:13:28 PM by gaggedLouise »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 07:52:29 PM »
By the way, I think this desire to guard the limit lines, to enforce "clean genders" is a strong reason why rape is such a common abuse tactic with TGs. By raping her (or him, as in Boys Don't Cry and the real-life events behind it) the trans is treated like a whore, she is pushed outside of ordinary society and robbed of her/his dignity - and denied the right to be like an accepted woman - if the woman role was what she aspired to. It's like saying "Okay, so you want to be a lady? Well, now you are nothing but a bunch of female holes, so take it!"

Offline Oniya

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 08:29:58 PM »
If you'll pardon my Yiddish, it takes a mother-lode of chutzpah to commit any sort of crime with half a dozen or more police vans in plain sight.  As a human being, this does not make me want to include NYC on any travel plans for myself or anyone I care for. 

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 09:01:09 PM »
Wow.. this depresses me more than mere worlds could possibly say.

Offline Cyrano Johnson

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 09:13:54 PM »
I think that's what really drives this kind of violence, it's the raw anger and confusion of a sexual gendered binariness that's rarely challenged in any serious way (not outside of specialized academic fields anyway).

Not only not challenged: there are people who have immense amounts of their identities wrapped up in the sex/gender binary -- often mixed together with religious or spiritual memes -- who are intensely transphobic because they feel transgenders as a direct threat to the stability of those identities, that transgendered identity will somehow devalue them or render them moot. True not just of masculinism but also, regrettably, of too many feminists, and oddly enough many of these same people would readily see the fallacy of such an argument as applied to (for instance) gay marriage.

Offline Tsenta

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 11:23:55 PM »
Hmm...does the hate crime act extend to crimes against Transgendered? I should go look this up, cause if so..this guy's due for a very long sentence (which I hope for, the dude deserves it.)

Offline FlorenceTopic starter

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2013, 11:29:07 PM »
Unless I'm mistaken, the Mathew Shepard Act recognizes gender identity as grounds for a hate crime on a federal level. BUT, I should qualify that I'm not a lawyer, so I could be mistaken.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 09:46:14 AM »
Finn is correct, but there's the rather significant hurdle of proving to courtroom standards that this attack happened because she was transgendered.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 10:02:12 AM »
I'd put it this way - all of them should go up the creek for murder, at a minimum.  They've got the 'intent to cause grievous bodily harm' in the beating alone.

If the prosecutors can prove to a jury's satisfaction that it was because of their victim's TG status (which would be an aggravating circumstance, and further influence the sentence), more power to them.

Offline Moraline

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 12:07:34 PM »
Just the idea that a crime of any kind could happen right in front of or anywhere near a police station is deeply saddening. It calls into question the motto of "serve and protect." They can't even stop a beating right under their noses... just sad. Also frightening.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 12:19:20 PM »
I've heard from a couple of trans New Yorkers that one of the first things a trans person learns in NYC is to steer clear of the police. Apparently the very best they can hope for if cops are on the scene is that they won't be the ones perpetrating the attack. Assistance is out of the question.

Offline Khoraz

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2013, 01:13:25 PM »
This makes me sick and it simply should not have happened. Lost a little bit more faith in mankind as a whole.

I just... ergh.

Offline ThePrince

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #16 on: August 29, 2013, 01:26:42 PM »
I think Trans folk are the most at risk group for violence agasnt them, especially African American trans people.

Hopefully the killer will get a rightfully harsh sentence. In my experience crimes aganst GBTL people are disturbingly light.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2013, 02:15:54 PM »
This is horrible, and I'm not arguing that - I do think the "in front of a police station!" is a red herring, though. For instance -

If you'll pardon my Yiddish, it takes a mother-lode of chutzpah to commit any sort of crime with half a dozen or more police vans in plain sight.  As a human being, this does not make me want to include NYC on any travel plans for myself or anyone I care for. 

... how many of those police vans were manned at the time? Just because it was near the precinct doesn't mean there were automatically a bunch of cops around since there's that whole patrolling thing. >.>

Please note: I'm not saying it's a happy thing. I'm not saying it's not disgusting. I'm not saying that anger is not warranted. However, I think the location of the crime is a bit of a distraction, and misdirection. I'm glad it's being reported - but given that the OP's article itself says the media largely doesn't report hate crimes like this, I wonder why someone isn't pointing a lot of big shiny fingers at that. As far as I'm concerned, the lack of general concern and media reporting is a whole lot more indicative of a problem (and dangerous) than an unmanned police vehicle failing to stop a crime.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2013, 02:25:09 PM »
I don't know, maybe it's just me, but whether or not a police vehicle is manned, it is a very visible reminder of the existence of law enforcement somewhere nearby.  Someone had to drive the vehicles there, after all.  One of the things that they used to recommend if you felt uneasy about someone while you were driving was to drive towards lighted areas, with a particular emphasis on finding a police station if possible.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #19 on: August 29, 2013, 02:26:50 PM »
Maybe if it appeared to be a premeditated crime?

Dunno. I am skeptical. I'm glad it's being reported, though.

Offline Neysha

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #20 on: August 29, 2013, 06:27:46 PM »
This is horrible, and I'm not arguing that - I do think the "in front of a police station!" is a red herring, though. For instance -

... how many of those police vans were manned at the time? Just because it was near the precinct doesn't mean there were automatically a bunch of cops around since there's that whole patrolling thing. >.>

It does seem hard to fathom that police officers were genuinely witnessing an assault in front of their police station and actively decided not to respond. There are times when police don't respond, such as with mob violence and other times when their lives or other lives might be in danger if they interfere. But I seriously doubt (though I suppose, tragically anything is possible and has happened before I'm sure) that the police were directly witnessing the event and did nothing. It would be hard for me to fathom that amount of latent hatred/transphobia (unsure of the appropriate term) so maybe I'm just missing it completely.

Offline Valiant Valentine

Re: Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Front of NYPD Station
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2013, 10:44:30 PM »


Stuff like this is actually very common in my area.
We had one citizen of our state be tied to a chair , beaten and then set on fire till death then was thrown into a ditch for dressing outside 'gender roles'.
Terrifying and frightening and further it along with the fact that the perpetrators weren't charged with a hate crime which it clearly was.
Very sad, largely due to the fact that here committing a crime out of hate toward someone of the LGBTQ community isn't considered a hate crime.
Gotta love good ol' Mississippi.