TDoR 2013 / 2013 / August / 22 / Islan Nettles

Islan Nettles

Age 21

22 Aug 2013
New York (USA)

TDoR list ref: tgeu/22-Aug-2013/Islan Nettles

Islan Nettles
Islan Nettles [photo:]

Islan and two other trans people were attacked after a group of men shouting homophobic and transphobic slurs. Islan was knocked to the ground and died of her injuries some days later in hospital.

Saturday just after midnight, Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old fashion design student was walking down 8th Avenue near West 147th Street right in front of a police precinct, when a group of men started saying some very mean things.

"They were called f****, they were called he-she's, she males, things of that nature," her mother Delores Nettles said.

Police say one of the men was 20-year-old Paris Wilson, who they say punched Nettles, knocked her down, and wouldn't stop.

She was taken to Harlem Hospital with severe head trauma where she slipped into a coma and was pronounced brain dead Tuesday. ~ ABC Local

A spokeswoman for the New York City medical examiner’s office, Ellen Borakove, said on Friday that the death had been ruled a homicide and the cause was “blunt force trauma.”

In April 2016 James Dixon, 25, was sentenced to 12 years on charges of second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault.

While Ms. Nettles was still in a coma, Mr. Dixon turned himself in to the police. In written and videotaped statements, he told detectives that he had started flirting with Ms. Nettles, unaware she was transgender, after meeting her and her two friends on the street. He said he became enraged and attacked her when his friends began mocking him for trying to pick up a transgender woman. “I just didn’t want to be fooled,” he said in a videotaped statement.

The victim’s mother, Delores Nettles, told the court she believed 12 years was too light a sentence, given the brutal beating her daughter took. “He can go home after those 12 years and see his family,” she said in tears. “It’s not fair.” Turning to Mr. Dixon, she said: “How can you sleep at night? How can you rest? I can’t rest.”

Mr. Dixon showed no emotion. He declined to make a statement before Justice Daniel P. Conviser pronounced the sentence, which had been negotiated with the judge on the eve of the trial in return for a guilty plea. Prosecutors objected to the deal; they had sought a sentence of at least 17 years.

TvT project: DNA info 27.08.2013 & Huffington Post 28.08.2013 & Gothamist 23.08.2013

Report added: 31 Oct 2018. Last updated: 8 Oct 2022

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