Fred Sargeant, who claims he was at the Stonewall Riots, says fatal shooting of Black trans man Tony McDade by a white cop is ‘a good thing’
Fred Sargeant, a former policeman who claims to have been at the Stonewall Riots, has said the fatal shooting of a Black trans man by a white cop is “a good thing for all”.
Sargeant, 72, made his comments one week after Tony McDade was shot and killed by police while being chased in connection with a fatal stabbing in Tallahassee on May 27.
McDade’s death was Florida’s third fatal police shooting in two months. Two days earlier, George Floyd was also murdered in broad daylight by a white policeman.
The deaths of the two Black men at the hands of the police have led to protests against racism and police brutality in all 50 US states.
Above a video of a crowd of people in the US honouring McDade during a protest, Sargeant wrote on June 3: “Of course, no mention of Milik Jackson who McDade stabbed to death because McDade had a beef with Jackson’s family.”
He added two hashtags: #TransViolence and #PanderingToTransCriminals.
In response to a follower, who misgendered McDade but said they “still mourn McDade” who was “slain by police”, Sargeant added: “While attempting to commit another murder.
“I mourn the victims of murderers, never the murderers cut down during the commission of yet another murder.
“He’ll never murder someone else again. That’s a good thing for all.”
Fred Sargeant and the Stonewall Riots.
Fred Sargeant is an ardent supporter of the anti-trans pressure group LGB Alliance, which has links to anti-abortion and anti-LGBT+ hate groups in the US and has repeatedly refused to denounce its neo-Nazi supporters.
Sargeant and the LGB Alliance, which is applying for charitable status in the UK, frequently use his involvement in the 1969 Stonewall Riots – an uprising against police harassment of the LGBT+ community that is commonly credited as the birth of the modern gay-rights movement – to erase trans women of colour from LGBT+ history.
But according to an interview Sargeant gave last year, his involvement in the riots is less central than he claims – he told NBC he happened upon the Stonewall Inn on his way home from dinner at a friend’s house, watched as patrons of the bar clashed with the police, and then left.
Sargeant was with his then-boyfriend, Craig Rodwell, and after seeing a crowd of 75 people outside the Stonewall Inn amid several police cars, the couple “went back to our apartment where we started working on the first leaflet”.
This account is confirmed in a 2009 article Sargeant wrote for the New York Times, in which he also describes happening upon the Stonewall Riots on his way home from dinner, watching for a while, then leaving to make leaflets.
Two years later, in 1971, Sargeant left New York for Stamford, Connecticut, where he decided to become a policeman.
“I wanted to see if I could make a difference,” he told PBS. “Having seen the situation at Stonewall and how the NYPD handled that I thought I could do it differently.”
Tony McDade: Police reports of his death contradicted by eyewitnesses.
Eyewitness reports completely contradict what the police have said about the death of Black trans man Tony McDade.
Tallahassee Police chief Lawrence Revell said that McDade had left a bloody knife at the scene of Milik Jackson’s fatal stabbing, was armed, and had pointed a gun at police officers – who had identified themselves as police officers before shooting him.
But multiple reports by local news, drawing on interviews with eyewitnesses, said that McDade was unarmed and had not been warned before the officer began shooting.
This is corroborated by those at the scene, who say the police never announced themselves as police before firing.
And before his death, McDade had revealed on Facebook that he’d been the victim of a racist, transphobic attack.
Tony McDade was the 12th known trans person to be fatally shot or killed by other violent means in the US in 2020, according to the Human Rights Campaign, which tracks anti-trans violence.