Tag Archives: hate crime

Transgender Kansas City Woman Killed After Being Run Over Multiple Times

Tamara_Dominguez

A transgender woman is dead tonight after repeatedly being run over behind a Kansas City church parking lot.

This is breaking news, but the basic details are known. Tamara Dominguez, a 36-year-old transgender woman, was killed in a church parking lot at Independence Avenue and Spruce at 3:00am Saturday night. After exiting a black Chevrolet Avalanche, the male driver hit her with his vehicle, then ran over her at least two more times.

Kansas City police say that they do not know if it is a hate crime, but it’s clear that some serious level of hate or rage has to be involved to repeatedly run someone over.

There is a short video at the link below. Her family has set up a GoFundMe site to help pay for her burial expenses.

Source: Transgender woman killed after being run over multiple times

A Hard Look at the FBI’s Transgender Victimization Data

FBI_1b

I’ve seen several blogs report high-level results from the recently-released 2013 Hate Crime Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Primarily, the newsworthy item is that the FBI listed only 33 cases of transgender hate crimes (that is, hate crimes where gender identity was the single motivating factor) across the entire United States for the study year. This number prima facie appears to be tragically low, but I believe that some of the anger directed at the FBI is sadly misplaced.

The FBI can only report that which has been first reported to them. The FBI is not the primary investigating agency for the vast majority of crimes, so the people who decide on whether or not a crime has a hate crime component are the local prosecutors and district attorneys. Second, a very large number of crimes against us are not reported by the victims. I personally know of three transgender persons in Kansas City who were physically assaulted for their gender identity or presentation recently. Since none of them would report the assaults to the police, those events were not officially reported.

It must also be noted that the qualification for a crime to be a hate crime is stricter than most people believe, and it involves establishing the motivation of the attacker. For example, merely using a transgender slur like “stupid tranny!” during an attack does not in itself qualify the attack as a hate crime. Words can easily be taken to be “incidental” during an attack. The government must establish that the gender identity or expression of the victim was a primary motivating factor for instigating the attack. And here we get into a bit of a quagmire, as establishing someone’s true motivations is quite difficult. Since we cannot read the minds of others, a perpetrator can simply claim “I was drunk and don’t remember saying anything like that” or “I was mad, I said a lot of things I don’t mean” as a defense to avoid a hate crime charge. Unless witnesses can give first-hand testimony or some self-incriminating evidence exists of the intent of the act, making a hate crime charge “stick” is difficult.

FBI_2
That having been said, there are some interesting facts from the report which I have not seen reported elsewhere, and I’d like to focus on some of them because perhaps we can learn some helpful information. Of the 33 victims and 31 incidents:

  • 25 cases were anti-transgender hate crimes, and 8 were for gender non-conforming behavior.
  • Most attacks were perpetrated by a single individual (39 offenders total per 33 victims total).
  • 8 of the anti-transgender crimes were aggravated assault, 7 were simple assault, 4 were criminal intimidation, 3 were robbery, 1 was burglary, and 2 cases were vandalism.
  • 1 of the gender non-conforming crimes was rape, 3 were simple assault, 2 were larceny/theft, and 2 were vandalism.
  • 4 offenders were white, 17 black, 4 were of unknown race for anti-transgender crimes. For gender non-conforming crimes, 4 offenders were white, 1 was black, 1 was of multiple races, and 2 were unknown race.
  • A total of 28 incidents were perpetrated upon human beings, and the rest against a business or institution or other “victim.”
  • 2 incidents occurred at a transportation terminal, 1 at a bar or nightclub, 1 at a commercial office, 1 at a department store, 1 at a doctor’s office or pharmacy or hospital, 7 incidents happened on a surface road or alleyway, 2 incidents were in a parking lot or a garage, 5 were in a home, 2 in a restaurant, 1 at a college or university, 1 at a gas station, 1 was on tribal lands, and the rest were in an unknown location.
  • NO incidents of transgender or gender identity crime were reported in Kansas. Two incidents occurred in Kansas City Missouri.

There are in fact only a few things to be learned from such a small number of events, but if we want to assume this sample size has any validity, it would appear that the primary conclusions can be drawn about anti-transgender hate crimes:

  • They are generally perpetrated by a single assailant.
  • About half of all crimes are assaults, and rapes are uncommon.
  • They can happen anywhere, with prevalence towards the home environment and streets.

While the racial profile of perpetrators is largely black, there is no matrix of perpetrator race/victim race to analyze. Therefore, we cannot say whether the high number of black perpetrators was due to a high amount of black-on-black transgender hate crimes, or whether racial bias was a coincident factor.

Let us also not forget that hate crimes based on sexual orientation – numbering 1,461 in 2013 – may very well encompass members of the transgender community, as anywhere between 50-75% of transgender persons identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or some other sexual preference than heterosexual.

What is the takeaway from this data? I’ll say it’s simply this – transgender and gender non-conforming persons need to stay in groups. Since more acts are committed by a single assailant, and can happen nearly anywhere, safety in numbers becomes key. If you are at all uncertain about going to a specific location or venue, go with someone else. If it’s late and you want to leave a bar and head to your car, ask a doorman to walk with you. Tip them if necessary. Stay in groups, stay alert, and stay safe.

Police Blotter – 31 July, 2014

Policewomen
Three cases of crimes against transgender persons suddenly jumped to the surface of my news feed. We try here at Transas City not to focus too much on single crimes, for two reasons. First and foremost, many in the community have “tragedy fatigue,” in that they already fully know and have experienced hatred against themselves and our people, and they don’t need to keep seeing news reports of another dead transperson. Secondly, early news reports also carry with them a high level of speculation, “he-said-she-said,” and uncertainty. And outside of opinion pieces, we deal in as much hard fact as possible here at Transas City.

In our first story of this police blotter, WDSU News reports that a New Orleans transgender woman was attacked and robbed, and manages to misgender her as well during the reporting. However, the primary topic of the article is not about anti-transgender hate crimes (even though the police say the crime was due to “sexual orientation[sic]”), but about the growing Hispanic community and its relations with the African-American community in New Orleans. My reaction?
Confused

Our next story involves a 15 year-old transgender girl whose crime against humanity was that she was trying to ride on the subway in Washington, D.C. Having ridden on the Green Line myself, I can say it’s not really that seedy of a place to be. especially at 4:30pm. The story thus far:

Metro Police have arrested and charged 24-year-old Reginald Anthony Klaiber with bias-motivated assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the stabbing. They apprehended Klaiber at the Fort Totten station as he was attempting to flee the scene. Officers also recovered a 3.5-inch folding knife.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessell says the girl was stabbed once in the back and taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Witnesses told Transit Police detectives that the suspect made bias-motivated remarks about the victim’s transgender status immediately prior to the assault. The charges against Klaiber include the possibility of enhanced penalties for hate/bias motivation.

I mean good grief, why? You just have to seriously, seriously question the utility of keeping a person in society who just walks up, taunts a transgender girl, then stabs her – in public, in front of multiple witnesses, in a heavily policed area. That’s stupid, evil, AND crazy.
Stupid-Evil-Crazy
The final news item we have for you is one we will hear about in this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance. Specifically, an arrest has been made in the Fort Meyers, Florida murder of transgender woman Eddie James Owens. Owens was apparently murdered, and then her body was burned to attempt to prevent identification. Apparently the victim knew her accused killer, and there was bad blood between them. The problem is, when you’re transgender having “bad blood” between you and someone else may very well result in your blood which is spilled.

Man Jailed Over Blackmail Regarding Transgender Woman’s Background

BehindBars
Sometimes we win against the haters – more often, lately, than ever before. In this case a scumbag who found a mobile phone and tried to blackmail a transsexual woman into paying him £200 was arrested for blackmail, and was sentenced to two years and four months in jail.

The creep was a real piece of work. From the article:

The following day the male friend of the phone owner received a text from Devlin saying he knew he had a girlfriend and that he had been “sh***ing that tranny prossy”.

Miss Kidd said the concerned recipient of the text contacted the phone owner, a former man who previously changed his name by deed poll and underwent transgender surgery to now live as a woman.

When the return of the phone was mentioned, Devlin made a crude suggestion as to sexual favours the owner would have to perform on him and his friends to get it back.

Miss Kidd said further text messages were made in which Devlin said unless he was paid £200, “everyone will find out your secret” and that he would reveal it “all over” via social media.

Too bad for the dating scene that this prize pig is in jail now for 28 months…somewhere I hope Nelson from The Simpsons is pointing towards him and exclaiming “Ha HA!”

Man jailed over blackmail threat to reveal transgender woman’s background (From The Northern Echo).

Three Tales of Transgender Death

ThreeTombstonesI’m taking some time with this post to talk on the deaths of three transgender women. Each was very different, each was tragic, and each was another dark page in the book of our shared experience.

DeoniJonesFirst I want to highlight the murder of Deoni Jones, who 2 years ago was stabbed in her face while she was waiting at a bus stop in Washington, DC. For the crime of “existing while trans.”

Her murderer, Gary Niles Montgomery, has had two previous trials with no outcome for either side. Deoni’s family, friends, and community activists have apparently been trying to get the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia to treat them like human beings, especially the victim, and they claim that to date they have been unsuccessful. The Attorney’s Office claims the opposite. Whatever the case, the family has had to suffer for more than two years just to even get the murderer to trial, and wondering when if ever they will receive justice.

Kayla Xavier MooreNext I want to tell you of a Berkeley, California father who is suing the police over the wrongful death of his transgender daughter. Kayla Xavier Moore died while being arrested by police officers on a warrant mistake. From the article:

On the night of Feb. 12, 2013, Moore was off her prescription medication and acting irrationally. Her roommate called 911 expecting Moore would be placed on a 72-hour psychiatric hold.

Police responded and, finding a San Francisco warrant for a Xavier Moore, decided to arrest her. (The lawsuit states that the warrant was for a 60-year-old Xavier Moore; Kayla Xavier Moore was 41.)

When police tried to handcuff the 347-pound Moore, she resisted, ending up face down on a futon with a number of police officers straddling her in order to place her in wrist and ankle restraints.

During the restraint she stopped breathing and died. The coroner concluded that Moore died from “acute combined drug intoxication,” obesity and an enlarged heart.

And there’s no way that being roughly arrested and sat on by large men on a futon would possibly restrict her breathing or injure her. Nope, not in a billion years!

Amelia Lopez ZaguilanFinally, we have an update on an older case, involving a transgender woman who desperately tried to deal with her body dysphoria by resorting to “pumping.” This was sadly very similar to the recent report on the death of Brenisha Hall, now ruled a homicide. Amelia Lopez Zaguilan desperately wanted female curves, and she underwent repeated injections of black market silicone. On April 30, 2013, she went for her last visit – Alejandra Mendoza, another transgender woman, pumped silicone into her buttocks, and within a day Ms. Zaguilan was having trouble breathing, almost certainly from a pulmonary embolism (my speculation, it’s a result from pumping when the silicone gets into your bloodstream). She fell into a coma a day later, and died on May 7.

Three transgender deaths – one by a criminal, one by those who are charged to “protect and serve” us, and one by desperate and tragic misfortune.

What may shock us most, as we read of these stories, is not how surprised we are, but how unsurprised we are.

Then and Now: The Murder Of Transgender Women. Same as it Ever Was.

Nizza_and_NettlesI decided to bring a little historical perspective to this update on the murder of Islan Nettles by mentioning another case, more than a decade prior, where a transwoman was murdered and the police are apparently unable or unwilling to do the right thing.

On December 22, 2002, transgender woman Nizah Morris was found naked in the street from the waist up, bleeding from a head wound. The last time any witnesses had seen her, she was climbing into a police car to receive a courtesy ride from Philadelphia police officer Elizabeth Skala. A summary of what happened afterwards can be found here.

Officer Skala testified that Morris asked to be dropped off at Chancellor St and S. Juniper St, two minutes distant driving from the bar and 45-minute walking distance from her home. One minute after being dropped off at 3:30am a motorist testified he called 911 reporting a woman she was laying on the street naked from the waist up, bleeding from her head.

The DA has refused to release the 911 records.

The entire thing is better explained at the link above, and screams “coverup” so loudly that you have to wonder WTF.

So flash forward 11 years, and we have the case of Islan Nettles, who was beaten to death on or about August 17, 2013 after she and a group of friends were attacked by a gang of eight men. After following them and taunting them with homophobic slurs, at least one man knocked Nettles to the ground and began a bit of the old ultra-violence – because that’s what we “subhumans” deserve, right? Ye-ah.

Nettles’ case quickly turned into a three-ring circus, with a friend of the defendant making a fake confession in the case, allegedly spurred on by the defendant’s mother. Even after these folks using the justice system like a plastic sex doll, the District Attorney’s office insists that they are “aggressively investigating” the case. The group Trans Women of Color of New York made this recent press release concerning the case:

It was revealed that no DNA evidence was collected from Paris Wilson at the scene of the crime, nor were witnesses rigorously questioned. Nor has it been explained why Simone Wilson, the suspect’s mother, was never held accountable for falsifying evidence when she persuaded a friend of her son to make a false confession which was later recanted. And perhaps most inexplicably, the D.A.’s office is claiming that all 10 surveillance cameras in the vicinity of the beating that lead to Islan Nettles’ death were broken.

Nope, nothing suspicious at all here!

Trans Woman Dares Bible-Quoting Councilman to Stone Her to Death

I admire her courage for standing up and confronting this dingus. It never ceases to stun me how ignorant Christians can be about their own Bible. And how so hypocritical even literalists can be, openly violated the Bible while they dare to try to judge others. Once I had a short conversation with a Biblical literalist, which went like this:

Them: “…and what’s the most disgusting of all is we have these homosexuals spreading Satan’s teachings in our schools! You know the Bible says we should stone them to death, and maybe it’s about time we realized we’re a Christian nation and need to follow Christ’s teachings!”

Me: “Jesus said you were supposed to murder homosexuals?”

Them: “It’s not murder if you’re doing God’s will.”

Me: “OK, two questions. First, are you saying Jesus said you are supposed to kill your fellow humans if they’re gay, and second, why does the most powerful being in the Universe, who created the Universe and everything in it, need to have you as their personal hit man? Are you saying God is so helpless they can’t punish these evildoers themselves?”

Them: “Jesus loves us and wants us to obey his teachings. That’s all you need to know.”

Me: “You haven’t broken any Commandments or teachings in the Bible? How about the ones about never shaving and wearing tassels on your clothing? How about not stealing, something I know you’ve broken?”

Them: “We’re all sinners.”

Me: “So should I punish you? Can I put you to death for violating God’s will?”

Them: “No, because you don’t believe.”

Me: “But I do believe. You’ve just borne false witness. That’s another Commandment.”

Them: “Leave me alone or I’ll kick your ass.”

Me: “Did God just tell you to do that? Otherwise you’ve just threatened to break another Commandment.”

Sobering thought of the day: people like that are allowed to vote.

Trans Woman Dares Bible-Quoting Councilman to Stone Her to Death | Advocate.com.

Murdered Transwoman is Given Amazing Respect by the Catholic Church

It may seem minor, but in reality, this is a “wow” moment. Andrea Quintero was homeless and desperate when she left Colombia for Italy, in search of a more accepting society, and the potential for meeting a man who would be kind to her and love her. But in Rome she found nothing but pain, accumulating injuries from beatings on the train platform where she lived. On July 29, 2013, her body was found on that platform, the result of a brutal beating. On that same day, Pope Francis said five words about homosexuality: “Who am I to judge?”

Andrea’s body was recovered by charity workers who wanted to give her a Catholic funeral. A Jesuit Priest opened the doors of one of the most prominent Catholic churches in Rome, and then something special happened – throughout her funeral service, the priest acknowledged Andrea as “she.” Something which the Catholic Church has never done before.

Father Giovanni La Manna, who helped organize Andrea’s funeral, is quoted thus:

“With Pope Francis, we have courage, we have enthusiasm. We have no excuse. We are called to open our hearts.”

This CNN link, where the story originated, has an excellent video, which is also heartbreaking.
Andrea_Quintero

Amazing change occurred at transgendered woman’s funeral | News – Home.

Topical Follow-Up: High School Students Wear Skirts to Honor Transgender Teen Set on Fire

SashaSkirtA wonderful show of support for Sasha Fleischman from their fellow high school students – they set up a day to give them support by wearing skirts – boys and girls. Kudos to the school administrators for backing this, as sometimes they seem to be really stuck-in-the-mud “zero tolerance” with dress codes.

There is a video with sound at this link, which will automatically play. It’s worth a quick watch.

Note I’m using the gender-neutral “their” as Sasha prefers to be called “Agender.” Editorially speaking, being agender is still part of the transgender “umbrella.”

High School Students Wear Skirts to Honor “Agender” Teen, Sasha Fleischman, Burned on Bus | NBC Bay Area.

Una Evicierates Defender of the Kid Who Set a Gender Nonconforming Student on Fire in a Hate Crime

Jesus_facepalmI have to be fair, the Edge is trying to give the family and the perpetrator the benefit of the doubt. But I just find the whole thing transparent.

I posted a while ago about this case, where a transgender teen was critically injured when some little shit set fire to her clothing while she slept. As the case rolls on, we are hearing the same sorts of things from the parents and the perpetrator, desperately ducking and weaving like Cassius Clay in his prime to avoid being convicted.

Here’s some choice quotes from the article:

Outside court, Du Bois [attorney for the defense] said, “As far as I can tell,” the incident “was the result of a juvenile prank that went horribly wrong.”

Sure! Because when I was a kid, we set fire to people all the time! Why I remember setting a hobo on fire once; his gin-soaked rags really made a pretty fire…yeesh.

“Members of his family are gay,” said Du Bois. “He doesn’t have a homophobic bone in his body.”

Ah, the old “but…some of my best friends are black!” defense.

Du Bois said one of Thomas’s family members who has come to Thomas’s court hearings is gay. That person, along with Thomas’s mother and other family members, have declined to speak with reporters, although one said Friday, “Please pray.”

This is known as the “can’t we all just get along?” tactic, with a sprinkling of the “rally ’round Jesus” spin.

Du Bois said Thomas has written “sincere, heartfelt apologies” and expressed sympathy and empathy with Fleischman. Thomas “feels absolutely horrible about this,” said Du Bois, who added that Thomas’s family is “upset that he’d even consider this type of a prank.”

This one is hard to call, folks. It’s either the “boys will be boys” defense, or the “Why can’t you accept an apology?” tactic. Yeah…what it really sounds like to me is “I’m sorry I got caught.” Add to this the testimony that the family of the victim has not received any of these alleged written apologies…

He said he hasn’t seen the video of the incident, but Thomas used a lighter, thinking “it was just going to be a flame and he’d pat it out.” Du Bois said he didn’t know whether Thomas had tried to put out the fire.

Sure he was going to put it out. Then what? He was going to take his victim out on the town shopping for new clothes, maybe a makeover and mani-pedi? Pull the other one; it has bells on it.

’Gender Nonconforming’ Student, Burned in ’Prank,’ Receives Support :: EDGE Ft. Lauderdale.

California Boy Charged with Hate Crime after Transgender Teen set on Fire

Well, here we go again, another transgender person attacked brutally for daring to exist. According to the Contra Costa Times, as well as later news posted yesterday, the victim, Luke “Sasha” Fleischman suffered serious burns requiring hospitalization after a 16 year-old sociopath set fire to Fleischman’s skirt while they slept on a public bus. The sociopath is one Richard Thomas, a student at Oakland High School, who admitted to police that he set fire to Fleischman’s skirt because he was self-described as “homophobic.”

Once he was actually arrested, however, he’s changed his story, and his family has come forward to declare that Thomas is a stereotypical good kid who does bad things.

Bad things like putting a person in the hospital and signing them up for a future of several painful surgeries to recover. Yeesh.

California boy charged with hate crime after transgender teen set on fire.

Crime and Punishment: Ex-con Gets 112 Years to Life for Murdering TG Woman, Cop Accused of Raping TG Woman

I’ve combined two stories of note here due to their topic being in a similar vein.

The first one is somewhat satisfying, to the extent possible when one of our sisters is murdered in cold blood. Lowlife scum Miguel Inostroz was sentenced to 112 to life for the brutal murder of transwoman Lucy Parkin. It does not appear that the crime was motivated by her being trans, but what’s noteworthy is that justice was done. In other words, in a justice system which is often biased against transpeople, the jury did the Right Thing.

The second story concerns an accusation – not proof of guilt – of a uniformed El Monte, California police officer who allegedly illegally detained and raped a transgender woman. According to the article:

Roe was crossing Garvey Avenue at Central Avenue (map) on the way to a friend’s house between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m. when a uniformed El Monte police officer pulled up in a marked patrol car and demanded to know what she was doing, according to the civil complaint.

The officer ordered her to lean into the driver’s side window of the patrol car.

“Because she feared for her safety if she refused, (she) leaned forward and (the officer) groped her breasts,” the complaint says. “He then asked (her) if she was ‘a nasty she-male.’ (She) responded that she was transsexual.”

The officer then allegedly ordered her to walk into an alley behind businesses in the southeastern corner of the intersection, and into a secluded parking lot behind 10052 Garvey Avenue.

Once there, he ordered her to perform oral sex on him, the complaint says. After several minutes, he raped her on the trunk of his patrol car while calling her demeaning names.

The officer then allegedly threw his used condom on the ground and told the transgender woman to leave. After a few moments, she returned to retrieve the condom for use as evidence, according to the complaint.

Sickening if true. And it’s certainly not unheard of – according to Injustice at Every Turn, “Six percent (6%) reported physical assault and 2% reported sexual assault by police officers because they were transgender or gender non-conforming.”

Ex-con gets 112 years to life for murdering transgender woman | www.ktvu.com.

Trans Women Beaten to Death in Los Angeles, Baton Rouge

I try not to post many of these articles. For one thing, they can seriously depress me, and can get me into a mode of thinking that we really still have so much further to go. For another, I try to post mainly positive articles which show transwomen succeeding. However, I never advocate ignoring the hate and the crimes committed on us, and two women murdered in one week has made me feel like yes, we need to stop and think about what it really means to be transgender.

Melony Smith, a transgender woman who press reports identify as Vanhxay Inthichack, was found dead inside a motel room last week in Baldwin Park, just east of Los Angeles, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. An autopsy revealed she had been beaten to death, prompting detectives to rule the case a homicide.

On Thursday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau confirmed it had taken Stephen Gonzales into custody on drug charges and was preparing to file murder charges against the 28-year-old from West Covina.

A 31-year-old transgender woman, identified in media reports as Shaun Hartley, was found dead inside an abandoned house in Baton Rouge Thursday. The local coroner declared that Hartley had died as a result of blunt trauma to the head, neck, and torso.

Trans Women Beaten to Death in Los Angeles, Baton Rouge | Advocate.com.

Transgender Woman Islan Nettles Dies; Now Judged a Hate Crime Victim’ friend’ | Mail Online

Nettles_IslanThis Daily Mail piece has a couple of grammar errors but at least keeps pronouns on-track. This poor woman was beaten by someone she met on Facebook when she ran into him in public, and his friends teased him for flirting with “a guy.” The result was “trans panic” (yeesh) and she was beaten, and died. CNN reports today that the murder is being investigated as a hate crime, to which news most of us will say “duh.”

Islan Nettles dies: Transgender woman dies after being savagely beaten by ‘ friend’ | Mail Online.