Contact: Prerna Sampat, Communications Coordinator                    For Immediate Release: Jan. 30, 2014

Trans Women of Color Collective of Greater New York (TWOCC)

847-340-1658 | inquilab@gmail.com | @PrernaSays

Trans Women of Color Rally for Justice for Islan Nettles & Demand Accountability from the NYPD & D.A.’s Office

On January 30, trans women of color are leading a rally at NYPD headquarters to demand justice for Islan Nettles, a trans woman of color who was brutally beaten to death in August 2013 by an attacker motivated by anti-trans hatred. According to police, the brazen attack took place at the corner of W. 148th & Frederick Douglass Blvd, directly across from NYPD’s PSA 6 police station, in full view of several surveillance cameras.

Almost six months later, no one is charged with the murder of Islan Nettles. Paris Wilson, whom police said they pulled off Ms. Nettles at the scene of the crime, was charged only with a misdemeanor - and was swiftly released on $2000 bond after his initial arrest, and on his second court date in November, even those charges were dropped by the District Attorney’s office, citing a lack of evidence. (Webcrims Screenshot:)

Today at 4pm, trans women of color, the Nettles family, LGBTQ organizations, and other supporters outraged by the impunity with which Islan Nettles was murdered will rally at One Police Plaza to demand that Commissioner Bratton explain why NYPD botched the Nettles investigation - and what steps they are taking to fix it. Protesters are also demanding that the D.A.’s office provide a progress report on their “aggressive” homicide investigation. Activists as far as Hawaii, California and Vermont have announced rallies in solidarity.

We will not be silent, we will not stand by while trans youth are murdered without recourse.” says Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Community Organizer & Co-Founder of Trans Women of Color Collective (TWOCC) of Greater New York. “The NYPD and the District Attorney’s office must be held accountable for their biased and botched investigation of Islan Nettles’ murder.”

Activists have raised many troubling questions about the District Attorney & NYPD’s negligence and mishandling of 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.

“Having survived a violent assault, I know what a struggle it can be to get justice in NY. Not one of my attackers was charged - and I was almost treated by the police as though I deserved to be assaulted,” says Madison St. Claire, Co-Chair of Membership for TWOCC. “Now, the same thing is happening in the Islan Nettles case - and that sends the wrong message: that trans women of color are disposable - that our lives don’t matter.” says Madison. “Today, we send our own message NYPD & the DA’s office: TRANS LIVES MATTER!”

Contacts:

Lourdes Ashley Hunter, Co-Founder, TWOCC: Lourdes.hunter@rutgers.edu | 347-320-8681 | @HunterLourdes

Madison St. Claire, Co-Chair of Membership, TWOCC: madison_stclaire@yahoo.com | 646-538-3105

WHAT: Rally at NYPD Headquarters to demand accountability and justice for Islan Nettles

WHEN: Thursday January 30th, 4:00p

WHERE: One Police Plaza, New York NY 10013 (Event page: http://on.fb.me/1d8J39F)

WHO: Transgender/Cisgender Coalition, ACT UP NY, Luz's Daughter Cares, TWOCC: Trans Women of Color Collective, STARR: Strategic Trans Alliance for Radical Reform, LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent

#Justice4Islan    TWOCC on Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1e99z90      Twitter: @TWOCCNYC