Last year, ELIXHER reported that trans activist Monica Jones, 29, was wrongly arrested in Phoenix under Arizona’s “manifestation” ordinance where repeatedly stopping and engaging a passerby in conversation can be evidence a person is “manifesting” an intent to engage in prostitution. On April 11, 2014, Jones went to trial and was found guilty. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arizona assisted Jones in her constitutional challenge to the manifestation ordinance and she appealed the judge’s decision. Earlier this week, Jones won her case!
Jones was well-known to Phoenix police because of her work in opposition to Project ROSE, “a controversial city program that promotes the arrest of sex workers under the guise of ‘saving them’ from the streets.” Like many trans women of color, Jones was profiled and targeted by police. Her public opposition placed an even more prominent bullseye on her chest.
“Today is a great day,” Jones shared. “My wrongful conviction under the Phoenix manifestation law was vacated…I am so grateful to my legal team and all of my supporters across the country and world. My conviction being vacated is important but it is a small win in our larger fight for justice. There are so many trans women and cisgender women who might be charged under this law in Phoenix and similar laws across the country. There is so much more work that needs to be done so that no one will have to face what I have no matter who they are or what past convictions they have.”