Marc Lamont Hill says in a piece for Ebony that this case is just another example of how the justice system fails our transgender brothers and sisters.
Last week, Chrishaun “CeCe” McDonald, a 23-year-old Black transgender woman, was sentenced to 41 months in prison for second-degree manslaughter despite clear evidence of self-defense. Making matters worse, she is now being forced to serve her time in a men’s prison …
As we see in the case of CeCe McDonald, police agencies tend to expend their time, energy, and resources criminalizing rather than protecting the Black trans community. By ignoring her obvious self-defense claim, instead arresting her and no one else at night, McDonald was legally punished for surviving a transphobic hate attack. This is a common occurrence, as transgendered Blacks are routinely targeted, profiled, and often arrested for crimes linked to their gender, race and class rather than their behavior.
More than any population, transgendered people are unfairly brought into the criminal justice system as the targets of false or unlawful arrests. Transgendered women are regularly stopped and arrested for prostitution simply for walking or standing in public space. Male and female transgendered people are often charged with presenting false identification or using the “wrong” bathroom. Because of law enforcement’s lack of understanding or respect for transgendered citizens, many trans people end up with criminal records simply for being transgendered.
Read Marc Lamont Hill's entire piece at Ebony.com.
The Root aims to foster and advance conversations about issues relevant to the black Diaspora by presenting a variety of opinions from all perspectives, whether or not those opinions are shared by our editorial staff.