Justice for Tony McDade one step closer as police union loses bid to keep his killer anonymous
A judge has denied a motion by the Florida police union to withhold the identity of the police officer who took the life of Black trans man Tony McDade.
McDade was shot dead by a police officer in north Florida on May 27, two days after another (cis) Black man, George Floyd, was killed by four police officers, including one who knelt on his neck until he passed out.
The actions of Black Lives Matter protesters across the US have resulted in charges being levelled against all four of the sacked police officers involved in Floyd’s death, including second degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder
But Tallahassee police are yet to even release the name of the officer who killed McDade.
On Monday, June 1, the Florida Police Benevolent Association filed a 51-page motion in Leon County, according to WTXL Tallahassee to block McDade’s killer from being named.
The motion claims the officer, who was unhurt and has been placed on administrative leave, was “the victim of an aggravated assault with a deadly weapon”.
Therefore, it says they should not be identified under Marsy’s Law, which protects crime victims.
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However, Leon County circuit judge Charles Dodson denied the union the injunction, saying he could not make a ruling based on the evidence provided.
As the matter is “constitutional”, he said, it requires input from the attorney general.
There are conflicting accounts of the events leading up to the death of Tony McDade.
The official police briefing on Tony McDade’s killing said he was shot after fleeing the scene of a fatal stabbing, of which he was a suspect, and police chief Lawrence Revell said: “Our officer called out: ‘Shots fired.’
He said over the radio that the suspect had pointed a gun at him. The suspect was in possession of a handgun, and a bloody knife was found at the scene of the stabbing.
Revell said there was “no indication of wrongdoing” or of a “racial motivation”.
However since then witness reports have emerged which conflict with the police’s version of events. According to them, police did not announce themselves as police before they began firing, nor was McDade armed.
It has also come to light that before his death, McDade had uploaded a video to Facebook promising retribution for a racist, transphobic attack on him by five men. In the video he added that he would rather have a “stand off” with police officers than go to prison.