The mother of a man accused of beating a trans woman to death in a suspected transphobic attack in New York City, reportedly took one of his friends to the police station, and forced him to confess to the crime.
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.
The victim died on Thursday, after doctors removed her ventilator. It has since emerged that the attack took 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.
Wilson’s mother has now been accused of taking one of his friends down to the police precinct and forcing him to admit to the crime. The New York Post reports that she made him say he was too drunk to remember the incident.
Speaking to the Post, a source said: “She brought this innocent kid in to the [32nd] Precinct and he confessed.” The police have since dismissed the allegedly false confession, as it did not match witnesses’ accounts of the killer’s description.
According to reports, Nettles had two Facebook accounts, one using her birth name, Vaughn Nettles, and another under Islan Nettles.
Wilson was friends with the second profile, and had bumped into the victim prior to the attack. After he flirted with her, his friends then reportedly told him that the victim was trans, at which point he began the attack, whilst his friends verbally abused her.
According to the criminal complaint, Nettles was found by police unconscious on the ground with blood on her face, and one eye swollen shut, after hitting her head on the pavement.
Wilson was originally charged with misdemeanor assault, and has been released on $2,000 bail. Given the death of Nettles, he is likely to face murder charges.
The Nettles family are now planning for Islan’s funeral. Her mother, Delores, said: “I accepted him no matter what because I loved him at the end of the day, My son was a beautiful woman.”
Christine Quinn, New York City Mayoral hopeful and the first openly gay City Council Speaker, denounced the attack. She said: “An attack against one person, or one community, is an assault against all New Yorkers.”
“We ask all New Yorkers to come together, to embrace our differences and to denounce hate violence.”