Today, a coalition of New York City human rights organizations will protest the NYPD’s negligence in the immediate aftermath of the brutal death of transgender woman, Islan Nettles. The protest at One Police Plaza demands an explanation by incoming NYC Police Commissioner William Bratton and the NYPD for its initial malfeasance and demands a report on the current status of the felony investigation. No statement on the progress of the investigation has been made since the investigation began two months ago.
At midnight, August 17, 2013, Paris Wilson, accompanied by friends, flirted with Islan Nettles in Harlem. Upon realizing Nettles was transgender, Wilson became enraged and began to harass Nettles and her transgender companions with transphobic slurs. Wilson began punching Nettles vigorously in the face until she fell to the pavement, slamming her head on concrete, according to the NYPD. Following a misdemeanor charge of third degree assault, Wilson was immediately released from jail on a mere $2,000 bail. On November 19, that charge was dropped due to “lack of evidence.”
There are several causes of concern with the investigation. For instance, officers at the scene never obtained DNA evidence from Wilson’s hands. When asked about crucial footage from the ten surveillance cameras located on surrounding structures, the D.A.’s office said all cameras were broken and no footage existed. After the assault, Simone Wilson, mother of Paris Wilson, coerced an inebriated friend of her son to confess to the crime but he later denied the allegations, according to the NYPD. Simone Wilson was never held accountable for falsifying evidence or for hindering the investigation.
“The transgender and cisgender communities together call on William Bratton and the NYPD to set an example with the Islan Nettles case by committing to seeing justice served, for Islan Nettles and all victims of transphobic violence in New York City,” said women’s rights activist Brooke Cerda Guzman.
PROTEST: Thursday, January 30th 2014, 4 p.m., One Police Plaza, Manhattan
Take the 4,5,6, J, Z trains to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall, walk on Chambers St. straight through the One Centre Street building, past the large red sculpture, to the front entrance of One Police Plaza.