FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE November 18, 2013
CONTACT: E.NARIKO WRIGHT
RE: Luz’s Daughter Cares & LGBT Community Demands Justice in Brutal Transphobic Murder of Islan Nettles
On November 19th, 2013, New York-based activist group, Luz’s Daughter Cares, in collaboration with supporters from LGBT organizations and allies, will protest the NYPD’s negligent investigation of the brutal beating death of transgender woman, Islan Nettles. New York County District Attorney Cyrus R.Vance, Jr. and New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly also failed to raise the criminal charges against alleged murderer, Paris Wilson, from a misdemeanor to a hate crime. The protest will take place during the second court hearing for Paris Wilson on Tuesday, November 19th in New York City at the Criminal Court on 100 Centre Street.
In Harlem, N.Y., on August 17, 2013, Paris Wilson, accompanied by friends, flirted with Islan Nettles and upon realizing she was transgender, became enraged and began to harass her and her transgender companions with homophobic slurs. Directly across the street from an NYPD station on 148th Street and Frederick Douglas Boulevard, Wilson was seen forcefully punching Miss Nettles until she fell to the pavement, slamming her head on concrete. Wilson was still punching Nettles in the face and head when police arrived (they were notified by one of Nettles’ friends). Police pulled Wilson off of Nettles and Nettles was transported to Harlem Hospital and admitted with severe head trauma. Following a misdemeanor charge of third degree assault, Wilson was immediately released from jail on a mere $2,000 bail. Nettles never regained consciousness and the NYPD took no further action. Sadly, on August 23rd, Islan Nettles was declared brain dead and removed from life support.
Between August 17th and 23rd, authorities failed to take statements from witnesses at the crime scene, nor did they question the friends present with Wilson or Nettles. In the interim, Simone Wilson, mother of Paris Wilson, allegedly coerced a friend of her son to confess to the crime. The said young man ultimately denied the allegations; Simone Wilson was not held accountable for falsifying evidence or hindering the investigation; and police took no action on behalf of Nettles. Finally, on August 23rd, NYPD officers took the time to go to Harlem Hospital to investigate further and question the family and friends of the victim. By then, Miss Nettles was pronounced dead. At Paris Wilson’s October 4th hearing, authorities claimed they did not have enough evidence to proceed, that they were still “vetting” the evidence and that in fact, the alleged suspect was perhaps a victim of mistaken identity.
This protest calls for DA Vance and NYC Police Commissioner Kelly to investigate the precinct and arresting officers initially involved in the arrest of Paris Wilson for failure to immediately and adequately investigate the crime scene, question witnesses, and retain video footage from the ten (10) cameras located in the area. This protest also calls for the charges against Paris Wilson to be upgraded to a hate crime. Further failure to do so sends a message to the public that the lives of Islan Nettles and other transgender individuals do not hold the same value as heterosexual or lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons in our society. Further, the protesters assert that had either the victim or the accused been Caucasian, the investigation would have been thorough from the start, the charges would have been upgraded to a homicide/hate crime, and the bail increased.
Paris Wilson should not be on the streets on a $2,000 bail while Islan Nettles lies in her grave.
Date & Place: Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 2:15 P.M. SHARP
NYC Criminal Court – 100 Centre Street, New York, NY
Contact: Twitter @Luzs_D_Cares
- Justice for Islan Nettles (theobamacrat.com)
- Tomorrow Islan Nettles alleged murderer “Paris Wilson” is back in court. Join us! Trans Lives Matter!! (transbipoliticalnyc.wordpress.com)
- Islan “Rose” Nettles only one of many tragic deaths in 2013 (luzsdaughtercares.wordpress.com)
- Transgender Day of Remembrance: 238 Trans People, at least, murdered worldwide this year. The actual numbers are feared to be much higher! (luzsdaughtercares.wordpress.com)