TransGriot Note: One of the things I will give the Sunday Melissa Harris-Perry show credit for is it did briefly touch on the CeCe McDonald case.
The momentum continues to get the Hennepin County defense attorneys Freeman and Senechal involved in the case to drop the charges since CeCe was ‘standing her ground’ against a transphobic white supremacist attacker who stared the confrontation and unfortunately was killed.
And while you’re reading this, take a moment to sign the Change.org petition with over 12,000 signatures including mine asking Michael Freeman to drop the charges.
Here’s an open letter sent to me from Juli Goins of Goins v. West case fame to the Hennepin County defense attorneys.
Attorneys Freeman and Senechal:
I’ve experienced the short end of Minnesota human rights law as it impacts transwomen — differentially, negatively, and deleteriously so (635 NW2d 717). I know the neighborhood (especially around the Target and the Rainbow) where Ms. Chrishaun CeCe McDonald defended her life from these aggressors
(with nothing short of intersectional malice and alcohol on their minds). As a transwoman, I know that what CeCe did to save her life is precisely what I’d have done in her place. Otherwise, she’d be dead today, and your office wouldn’t give this much thought beyond deliberating a minimum sentence to her bias-driven belligerents for completing the bloodletting and death of a “worthless black tranny.”
What happened to CeCe in her neighborhood very nearly happened to me in September 1999, except in my neighborhood at Lyndale and 24th, and by drunken frat boys. The only difference: had it been me to have defended myself with the unpremeditated death of one of those aggressors, I may have still lost the human rights case in 2001 (on the same backhanded technicality that let West Group walk from facing a trial they know they would have lost). But I’d also probably have most, if not all charges dropped by your office on a justifiable self-defense — for being approached, accosted, and attacked without provocation. That is only because I’m “blonde.” You know this. I know this. Many Minnesotans know this.
Attorneys Freeman and Senechal, drop these charges, or drop CeCe’s bail to a perfunctory minimum to facilitate her release to family and community as her self-defense trial proceeds. She is no flight risk. Do this with haste. Do this with mercy. Do this to vet that Minnesotan transwomen of color in Hennepin County are citizens who have assurance of entitlement to legal par with “blonde” citizens in Hennepin County. As a transwoman, do this to restore a sliver of my faith in the spirit of Minnesota’s tarnished justice system.
Appellant, 635 NW2d 717
(in re: Julienne Goins v. West Group)