The trial of the murderer of transwoman Lateisha Green begins today in Syracuse, New York. Prosecutors hope to get a conviction with a hate crimes embellishment.
It was no secret to friends and family that Lateisha Green was born a boy. She had been living mostly as a female since age 16. On a Friday night last November, Green — this time dressed as a man — and her brother, Mark Cannon, went to a party. Several guests objected because they thought the two were gay. Several started yelling “profane and vulgar comments,” police reports said. As Green and Cannon were sitting in their car a few minutes later, one of the partygoers emerged from the house with a .22-caliber rifle. Without a word, police say Dwight DeLee fired a single shot. The bullet grazed Cannon’s arm, and with a deadly thud hit Green, 22, in the chest. “I’m hurt. Angry, upset. Mostly, I’m upset with society,” said Albert Cannon, the victims’ father. “How do we let our kids get this angry this young? This was hatred.” Prosecutors agreed and charged DeLee, 20, with second-degree murder as a hate crime under the state’s nine-year-old law. The hate crime label could add years of additional time to DeLee’s prison term if he’s convicted.
The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund has a blog where you can follow developments in the trial. Representatives of the Empire State Pride Agenda, GLAAD, and the TLDEF are all in Syracuse to lend support to Green’s family. The TLDEF is also live-Tweeting the proceedings, which are just getting under way. You can show your support by joining the Facebook group Justice For Lateisha Green.