1. Charges dropped against man accused of beating Islan Nettles to death
    November 20, 2013

    The Manhattan District Attorney has dropped misdemeanor assualt charges against a Harlem man who was accused of beating 21-year-old transgender woman Islan Nettles to death.

    From DNA Info:

    The family of Paris Wilson, 20, broke into applause when Judge Steven Statsinger announced that misdemeanor assault charges against him were dismissed. Outside the courtroom, Wilson hugged and kissed his family.

    But Assistant District Attorney Nicholas Viorst said his office is still “aggressively investigating”  what he called a “deeply complex” case.

    “It should be emphasized, however, that the crime we are investigating, homicide, has no statutory speedy-trial deadline,” said Viorst in citing speedy trial requirements as a reason for dropping the misdemeanor charges.

    After Wilson was arrested in the case, his mother brought another man to police who confessed to the crime, but claimed not to remember much because he was intoxicated. Police initially believed the confession of the second man to be false.

    Nettles was walking with a group of friends in Harlem on August 17 when she was attacked by a group of men and later died from her injuries at Harlem Hospital three days later. According to prosecutors, the men shouted homophobic insults during the attack and the inconsistency among witnesses has been a major setback in purusing criminal charges in the case.


    Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the lives of the trans community that have been lost to transphobic violence. My heart is breaking for Islan’s family & friends today. I think of all the trans youth I work with in Harlem who never feel safe walking around in their own neighborhoods & how people like Paris Wilson continue to get away with this violence. 

    I’ll be joining the Bronx/Harlem LGBT Task Force in the first ever Transgender Day of Remembrance March today at 6 p.m. at 138th St. & 3rd Ave. 

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