She was convicted in May 2013 of “manifesting prostitution” after she accepted a ride from
an undercover police officer during a Phoenix antiprostitution sting.
The case garnered international attention and support from Laverne Cox and the ACLU when Jones began speaking out against the unjust law resulting in ‘walking while trans’ profiling of trans women of color.
The ACLU has argued
that the Phoenix law is too vague, in that the behaviors it describes
are easily misinterpreted. For example, talking to passersby could be an
indication that an individual is lost and seeking directions or that
they are canvassing for a political cause.
Jones pointed out to Buzzfeed News the law seems to target specific groups of people.
“I think there is a bigger issue that needs to be addressed,” Jones
explained. “This law needs to be thrown out because it unfairly targets
women, transgender women, and people of color living in poverty. Police
wouldn’t [arrest] a man standing on the corner talking to a passerby.”
While she won an appealof her conviction in January that granted her a possible retrial, it still left the constitutionality of the law in question
The decision by Phoenix prosecutors to drop charges came only eight days after Jones and her
legal team appealed to a higher appellate court to have the law repealed
on constitutional grounds.was timing that Jones’ attorney Jean-Jacques Cabou notes, “coincidental
to say the least.”
Cabou said he hoped city officials would consider repealing the law,
but if not, “we’ll blow it up the next time someone brings a case.”
the very least, for now, Jones can rest easier, says Cabou.
“The case against [Jones] is officially over. Monica never has
anything to fear resulting from her arrest that night. We won a total
victory on that front.”