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CeCe McDonald Murder Trial

transgender crime

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29 replies to this topic

#1
Lori

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Minneapolis, MN -- "[Chrishaun "CeCe"] McDonald was verbally assaulted with racial slurs, sexual harassment, and trans-phobic and sexist attacks. She was hit in the face with a glass beer mug, and a larger scuffle ensued... One of her attackers ended up dead. McDonald was taken to jail, where she was placed in solitary confinement. She has been charged with second-degree murder; the prosecutor added another murder charge after she refused to take a plea deal to the first charge."

Read the article: Transgender people among most misunderstood: Local violence reflects climate of ‘transphobia’
If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.

#2
Lori

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Transgender African-American Woman Faces Controversial Murder Trial
Democracy Now
A transgender African-American woman is facing trial for murder after an incident outside a Minneapolis bar where she was reportedly harassed and then physically attacked. CeCe McDonald, who is 23 years old, is scheduled to stand trial later this month...

If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.

#3
UsernameOptional

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Perhaps the media doesn't have every fact to this case, but even still... something isn't adding up.  How was only one person arrested and charged?

If a group of people attack someone, and in the course of that person trying to defend him-/herself and/or get away, someone gets killed... does that totally negate the fact that the person had been attacked?  Do the attackers automatically get to walk away?  Does a person have to be beat into the ground and allow him-/herself to be killed just to avoid being charged with murder?
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#4
Brittany

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yeah I agree I don't see things adding up on this one. Given if nothing else this is a case of self defense but then the sad history of trans people not getting along or speaking with cops tends to add on issues with people that are suppose to protect and serve all. I'm waiting on the full story on this one. It just doesn't feel right to me.
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Daneela

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First, I want to include the transcript of the interview included in the coverage --

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: A transgender African-American woman is facing trial for murder after an incident outside a Minneapolis bar where she was reportedly harassed and then physically attacked. Chrishaun "CeCe" McDonald, who is 23 years old, is scheduled to stand trial later this month for second-degree murder.
But supporters say McDonald was the victim on June 5th, 2011, after two women and a man, all of them Caucasian, began harassing her and her [black] friends outside a bar, calling them racial and homophobic slurs. A YouTube video posted by supporters of CeCe McDonald describes what they say happened that night.


CECE McDONALD SUPPORTER: Chrishaun McDonald, known as "CeCe," is a spirited student of fashion design at a Minneapolis community college, known as wise, outspoken, cheerful, with a history of handling prejudice with amazing grace. Midnight Saturday night, early June, CeCe was walking to Cub Foods with three friends. Passing Schooner’s bar, three haters—Dean Schmitz and two women—began yelling [expletives] at CeCe and her friends. An argument between the groups took place, which turned violent when one of the women broke a beer mug on CeCe’s face. It opened a large gash to her saliva gland. Next, Dean Schmitz suffered a wound from a pair of scissors through the swastika tattoo that was concealed under his shirt on his chest.

AMY GOODMAN: While the events of that night remain unclear, the fight that ensued left 47-year-old Dean Schmitz dead after he was apparently stabbed by a pair of fabric scissors that had been in McDonald’s purse. Police arrested McDonald, but did not arrest anyone else at the scene. McDonald received 11 stitches to her cheek. She was reportedly interrogated without counsel, placed in solitary confinement. There were reports the dead man, Dean Schmitz, not only had a swastika tattooed on his chest but also had a prior criminal record. McDonald’s supporters have said the case is symptomatic of the bias against transgender people and African Americans in the criminal justice system. CeCe McDonald could face up to 80 years in prison.
For more, we’re joined by two people in Minneapolis. Rai’vyn Cross is one of CeCe McDonald’s best friends. We’re also joined by Katie Burgess, executive director of Trans Youth Support Network.
Katie Burgess, can you elaborate more on this case and the significance of it, how you know what you know, what you believe took place outside this bar?
KATIE BURGESS: Yes. Thank you for having us on, Amy.
So, what’s unique about this case is that—I work for an organization, the Trans Youth Support Network, that promotes racial and social and economic justice for trans youth. And specifically, we were founded out of this kind of violence that we see against young transgender women of color, specifically. The types of violence that we see are not only pandemic within our community, but all across the nation.
And we would like to also point out the ways that this violence plays out in the courtrooms. We see these kinds of legal disparities. The fact that Chrishaun is facing now two counts of second-degree murder is just unheard of. And we’re asking the county attorney to drop the charges against her.
The ways that myself and my organization got involved was that we had a relationship with CeCe prior to this. Because we’re an organization founded because of this kind of violence against young trans women of color, we had a lot of connections with community leaders and were able to get the word out about CeCe’s case fairly effectively. People were very enraged about what had happened to her and the refusal of Hennepin County to recognize her right to self-defense. And word has spread across the nation and across the world. We have seen local support from LGBT organizations and politicians and also national support from organizations such as the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project. We have a petition that’s circulating with over 15,000 signatures asking Hennepin County to drop these charges.
And we’ll be moving into trial, like you said, actually on Monday. Today will be her final pretrial hearing. And we are looking closely at that to see exactly what will be admitted into the trial. We have some concerns about what may or may not be looked at.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: If I can, Katie, for a minute, to bring in also Rai’vyn? You’re a friend of CeCe’s. Could you tell us a little bit about her and also about the continuing harassment and problems that she and you have faced in years past?
RAI’VYN CROSS: CeCe, Chrishaun McDonald, which is also my best friend, my sister, she’s a 23-year-old trans woman of color that was walking along Schooner’s bar with a group of friends that are also GLBT that are all African American. They was attacked by three white supremacists outside of Schooner’s bar.
Yes, we have encountered this every day of our lives, as us being together. We have been—have a solid friendship of eight years. We experience this on a daily basis when we wake up, when we go to sleep, if it’s in a public place or if it’s just outside, period. Transphobic slurs, racial slurs, I mean, we best deal with it just by just—you know, just wiping it off, just keep going on, just staying strong.
She is a fashion designer, an outspoken person, a person with a smile that you cannot miss. She is a provider, a supporter of the community. And I’m here to tell the Hennepin County’s attorney, Michael Freeman, to drop the charges against Chrishaun McDonald.
KATIE BURGESS: And this kind of violence that we have seen is not unusual. A lot of the young people that I work with have experienced this type of transphobic and homophobic and racist violence in their lives, not only at the hands of such attackers, but also within the justice system. Both locally and nationally, we see—there was a report put out in 2010 by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs that shows that transgender and people of color are likely to face twice the harassment and discrimination than white non-transgender folks.
AMY GOODMAN: Katie, what do you expect to come out of this case?
KATIE BURGESS: Well, we’re watching it very closely, especially today. We’re not sure what to expect coming out of this case, but what we are hoping to see is that the whole story will be able to be told in court. Later today will be CeCe’s final pretrial hearing, and which we’re watching to see if certain key points of evidence will be allowed to be in the trial, such things as the swastika tattoo on the deceased, as well as his prior record, but also this culture of violence that young trans women of color experience, whether or not expert witness testimony will be allowed to be able to show certain things, such as the drastic rate in which young trans women of color are murdered, which is, according to that report that I mentioned, 44 percent of hate murders in the U.S. are young trans women of color.
AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there, Katie Burgess, executive director of Trans Youth Support Network, and Rai’vyn Cross, close friend of CeCe McDonald. That does it for our show. We’ll continue to follow that case.

Michael and Brittany,

To address your concerns --

CeCe wasn't alone. There were at least two other women with her that night. The attack was to all of them, not just her. Admittedly, three young women against three drunk white supremacists was not a fair fight. CeCe and her friends got into an argument with their foes. They didn't "simply walk away." They didn't take the safe way out when they had the choice. They didn't run. They stayed there and one of the jerks broke a friggin' stein on her face and cut through her cheek and injured he saliva gland.

Truth is, she probably lost it. She got the "fabric scissors" out of her purse and threatened at least one of the jerks. It went too far. She stabbed him, probably close to the heart if I'm not reading too much into it. She didn't know that she was stabbing into a tatooed Swastika. She didn't know the jerk had a criminal record.

She was arrested alone because the weapon was hers, because she was obviously injured so she'd have been the one the police would have most suspected. She failed to cooperate fully. She simply made too many of the wrong choices. That's why it's gotten this far 10 months later.

I wish her the best but I won't try to guess how things will turn out.

#6
Gennee

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Where I draw the line is if someone puts their hands on me.

#7
Lori

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CeCe McDonald, Minnesota Transgender Woman, Pleads Guilty In Manslaughter Case
Huffington Post
A black transgender Minneapolis woman pleaded guilty to second degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of a local man, but her supporters maintain she was the actual victim in the case. As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting, 23-year-old CeCe...


Today is my day for outrage. I'm outraged that Ms. McDonald was charged for a criminal offense in the first place. She was the victim and, as I read the details of this incident, Ms. McDonald was clearly acting is self-defense. The group of skinheads initiated the confrontation by yelling racial and homophobic slurs. CeCe had already suffered a gash to her face from a broken beer bottle. The District Attorneys Office should be ashamed that they are prosecuting the victim of a hate crime.

Yes, even transgender people have the right to use deadly force if their life is threatened.  ~ Lori



If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.

#8
prettyinpink1979

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I am probably going to get flagged for this, and I hope no is offended with what I am about to say here, but here we go.

I grew up in group homes, spent 4 years in the Marines, and practiced Aikido for 8 years. I also have 2 Rock River M-4s, and I carry a Glock 21. Armed gays (or others in the LGBT community) dont get bashed! THis makes me sick! I was a volunteer EMT for 13 years and a Paramedic for 2 years, and this is why I quit. I depise violence, I really do, but I can say this; I would rather be judged by 12 then carried by 6!

On a separate note; if anyone knows how a person can donate to her legal defence, please get back to me

#9
UsernameOptional

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I would still be very interested to know exactly how the county is justifying manslaughter and seemingly completely ignoring any possibility of self-defense.  Events described as we've heard so far, point only to a woman defending herself in my opinion.

-Michael
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#10
Phoebe

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Also read  Have You Heard About CeCe McDonald? http://www.transadvo...ce-mcdonald.htm

Edited by UsernameOptional, 03 May 2012 - 02:53 PM.
Removed non-working link & merged with on-going related thread


#11
Lori

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Janet, thank you for posting. Your link contains information on how supporters can write to CeCe. And to answer "PrettyinPink1979, there is a link to donate, though I cannot verify the legitimacy.
If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.

#12
Lori

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Laverne Cox Speaks about violence and injustice against transgender women of color and calls for the passage of GENDA(Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act) in New York State at Equality and Justice Day in Albany, NY March 8, 2012



If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.

#13
Lori

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CeCe McDonald: No Justice for Black Transgender Violence Victims
By Kellee Terrell
A black transgender woman faces prison for killing her attacker. Her supporters call that a crime...

If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.

#14
UsernameOptional

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"...the judge referred to her account of what happened as "unreliable" and openly chastised her for having scissors in her purse,..." -No Justice for CeCe, theroot.com
Since when it is inappropriate for a woman to have scissors in her purse?  I've seen women pull all kinds of things outta their purses... a pair of scissors would not have surprised me.  And while I might have wondered why,  I've learned not to ask any woman why she has any particular item in her purse.  I've been shot the evil eye by my own mum for asking why she needed to lug around so much stuff.

Was that all the judge could come up with in reasoning why this wasn't a case of self-defense.  I hate to sound morbid, but I dare say that had CeCe not had those damn scissors, she might have been the one to wind up dead.
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#15
Lori

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Transgender defendant gets 3 years in fatal Mpls. bar fight
Minneapolis Star Tribune
The pressures of being transgendered -- namely, fear of rejection and of hostile reactions from others -- resulted in spite and hatefulness, said McDonald, who is transitioning from a man to a woman. That pent-up fury exploded on the night of June 5...


This will just never feel right to me, based on what I know from media reports of the incident. My opinion is still that McDonald acted lawfully in self defense. I believe she could have been acquitted in trial. I believe she is assuming too much blame. I hope she can find peace following her conviction and prison sentence. ~ Lori
If you want what you've never had, you've got to do what you've never done.





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