NBJC Applauds the Early Release of CeCe McDonald
Washington, D.C. – January 13, 2014 – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), the nation’s leading Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, applauds the early release of CeCe McDonald. CeCe is a Black transgender woman who accepted a plea bargain of second degree manslaughter in response to being violently attacked by a group of people in a racist and transphobic hate violence incident in June 2011 in Minneapolis, MN. Despite surviving this incident of violence, CeCe was the only person arrested for acting in self-defense and allegedly fatally stabbed one of her attackers. Her arrest and ultimate sentencing of 41 months in a male prison facility was followed by a surge of local and national support rallying for both her speedy release and for her to be transferred to a female facility until her release. NBJC has stood in solidarity with CeCe and local community members in strong opposition to CeCe’s unjust incarceration and advocated for her immediate release. According to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, CeCe is expected to be released from prison today.
“CeCe’s case highlights the vicious culture of violence targeted at Black LGBT people, especially our transgender sisters,” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “Her early release is welcomed news, but we must not be comfortable with this precedent of blaming the victim for hateful and biased violence that was neither provoked nor sought out.”
According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs’ (NCAVP), Transgender women of color face severe and deadly hate violence, including bias and violence from law enforcement, in the United States. In 2013, NCAVP responded to 14 homicides of transgender women nationally, 93% of whom were people of color. In their most recent Hate Violence Report, NCAVP documented 25 homicides of LGBTQ people in 2012. 53.8% of total homicide victims were transgender women and 73.1% were people of color. The report also found that transgender people of color and transgender women are almost three times as likely to experience police violence.
NBJC will continue to educate our community and the broader public about the injustices that Black LGBT people too often face, especially those incidents of violence based on bias and hate. As NBJC celebrates 10 years of advocacy and working on the front lines of the movement for justice and equality, it will continue to provide a critical platform of support to countless Black LGBT individuals who have faced discrimination and violence simply for being who they are.
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The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. NBJC's mission is to end racism and homophobia.