A 21-year-old trans woman who was violently beaten until brain damaged, and later taken off life support after being pronounced brain dead, was attacked just feet away from a New York Police Department precinct.
Islan Nettles, 21, of Harlem, was on a night out with friends on Saturday, before a group of men violently beat her, after discovering that the women were transgender. The incident took place near West 148th Street and Eighth Avenue.
It has now emerged that the attack too place just in front of a police precinct, and has highlighted the question of the safety of LGBT in New York City, where hate crime numbers have risen drastically.
Paris Wilson, 20, was arrested in connection with the attack. He was initially charged with misdemeanor assault. Police upgraded his charge to murder, following Nettles’ death.
“They were called faggots, they were called he-she’s, she males, things of that nature,” Islan’s mother, Delores Nettles said, speaking to ABC7.
“This person beat my baby with his bare hands to death and I don’t feel that person should walk the streets because my baby can’t walk. He couldn’t even tell me he loved me, I will never hear that again,” she continued.
According to Nettles’ LinkedIn page, she had planned to work in the fashion industry. “Fashion became a definite decision for my life after my first show with my hand designed garments in high school at the 11th grade,” she wrote.
New York City police last week said they were looking for six suspects involved in a homophobic attack in Chelsea. Six people targeted two gay men as they left a cinema holding hands on West 24th Street, and beat them whilst hurling verbal anti-gay abuse.