Connect with us

Activists Slam Dallas Police For Misgendering Trans Murder Victim

Published

on

A vigil is planned for Wednesday night for 22-year-old Shade Schuler.

As they prepare to stage a vigil for a transgender woman found murdered this summer, LGBT advocates are calling out the Dallas Police Department (DPD) for continuing to refer to the victim as male. 

A vigil is set for Wednesday night for 22-year-old Shade Schuler (Image, top and below), who advocates say was a black trans woman. Schuler’s badly decomposed body was found in an empty field on July 29, in an area where she’d repeatedly been arrested for sex work, according to police. Schuler was shot to death and found wearing a tube top, shorts, a wig and false fingernails with diamond studs and pink tips. 

signs.jpg
Signs for Wednesday’s vigil

Despite requests from transgender advocates, DPD has declined to change the department’s blog posts about the case, which refer to Schuler as “a black male.” Sr. Cpl. Monica Cordova, a spokeswoman for the department, said the decision is based on interviews with Schuler’s family members and friends, who’ve referred to her as male. 

“If it were something where the family and friends were referring to Shade as a transgender person, we would have absolutely no problem addressing Shade as a her,” Cordova told The New Civil Rights Movement. “In this case, it’s different, because the family and friends that we have talked to have both said the same thing — referred to Shade as a him, and said he did dress up as a female, but that wasn’t all the time. He didn’t really have a  preference as to what he was referred to as.

“He didn’t correct people when they said ‘him,'” Cordova added. “If they referred to him as a him, he was OK with it. If that’s the way he lived his life and didn’t have a problem with how people referred to him, then why should we? I’m just not comfortable changing something because they’re uncomfortable with how we’re referring to someone who wasn’t uncomfortable with it.” 

Nell Gaither, president of Trans Pride Initiative, a Dallas-based nonprofit, said the community has presented “clear evidence” to DPD that Schuler was trans. Gaither said she personally spoke with two family members who confirmed that Schuler identified as female. Schuler’s family members have declined requests for an interview. 

“This is simply setting a barrier to avoid accurate description of the person, adding to evidence of cis-centric transphobia in the DPD,” Gaither said. “The DPD likes to point to their dozen-plus years of cultural sensitivity training as evidence that disrespect is impossible, but an increasing number of reports to Trans Pride Initiative are showing that such training, at least around trans issues, may serve as little more than ticking off a check box and providing cover for entrenched transphobia. Reports of things like officers threatening to arrest a trans woman for ‘impersonating a woman’ … show there is little interest in or effort to identify and address possible the transphobia embedded in the culture of DPD.”

schuler.shade_insert.jpg
Shade Schuler

In response to Gaither’s request, The Dallas Morning News updated its initial report about the murder to indicate the Schuler was transgender. 

Gaither said misgendering Schuler could hamper DPD’s investigation. She also said the department has declined to change its original report, which means the murder might not be reported properly as a hate crime to the FBI. 

Cordova said identifying Schuler as male won’t affect the investigation because the department has released her photo and other information. Cordova also said although investigators haven’t ruled it out, there is no evidence to suggest the murder was a hate crime. 

“From Shade’s record, he was a known male prostitute,” Cordova said. “He was killed in the same are where he was known to hang around and where he had been arrested. I’m not saying that’s what got him killed or anything like that. I’m just saying those are facts that we have.” 

Gaither said many trans women are forced into sex work for survival due to social stigma and employment discrimination. One recent national survey found that while the overall unemployment rate was seven percent, it was 14 percent for trans people and 28 percent for black trans people. 

“That is exacerbated by the high social stigma that lowers self-esteem and self-worth, often meaning trans folks take greater risks in survival work than other folks do,” Gaither said. 

Schuler is among at least 19 trans women who’ve been reported murdered this year, up from 12 for all of 2014, according to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs. 

 

Images of Shade Schuler via MySpace
Image of signs by Trans Pride Initiative via Facebook

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

'REMARKABLY THIN'

‘Flaccid Little Cry Baby’: Legal Experts Weigh in on Trump’s ‘Not Very Strong’ Lawsuit to Block Jan. 6 Committee

Published

on

Donald Trump has just filed a lawsuit to block the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack from being granted access to a mountain of documents from his four years as president held by the National Archives.

Legal experts are weighing in on this latest attempt by the former president to obstruct a lawful investigation.

NBC News reports Trump’s lawsuit “says the committee’s subpoena is invalid because it has no power of investigation,” and it “says the material should be protected by executive privilege,” which is also false, according to countless legal experts who have been commenting on that claim for weeks.

Trump is “requesting that the court invalidate the committee’s requests and enjoin the archivist from turning over the records in question. At a bare minimum, the court should enjoin the archivist from producing any potentially privileged records until President Trump is able to conduct a full privilege review of all of the requested materials.”

Top national security lawyer Bradley Moss appears to be enjoying mocking the lawsuit:

CNN’s Keith Boykin, a former Clinton White House aide who has a law degree from Harvard Law weighed in on the news by blasting Trump, saying: “This guy has spent his entire career bluffing his way through life, evading responsibility, dodging accountability, and filing frivolous lawsuits to distract and delay. Justice means nothing in America if Trump is not held accountable for his crimes.”

Attorney and upcoming author Luppe B. Luppen:

Former Obama White House attorney, now a Law Professor at Cardozo Law and Supreme Court contributor for ABC News calls the suit “remarkably thin.”

.

Continue Reading

'DEMASCULATE'

Watch: Madison Cawthorn Urges Mothers of Young Boys to ‘Raise Them to Be a Monster’

Published

on

U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn is urging parents to turn their young children into monsters.

The North Carolina Republican Congressman lamented that American “culture is trying to completely demasculate all the young men,” presumably meaning “emasculate.”

“You can look at testosterone levels in young men today, and they are lower than throughout all of history,” he added.

“But my friends they’re trying to demasculate the young men in this country ’cause they don’t want people who are going to stand up.”

“If you are raising a young man, raise them to be a monster,” he urged mothers, to applause.

The clip was posted by Right Wing Watch:

 

Continue Reading

'HIRED ACTOR'

Psaki Again Destroys Doocy So Bad Some Are Asking if He Is a ‘Deep State’ Actor or a ‘Plant’ to Make Her Look Good

Published

on

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s near-daily ritual of educating Peter Doocy took such a dramatic step up on Monday some are asking if perhaps the Fox News correspondent is a “plant” or a “deep state hired actor” designed to make her look good.

When today’s exchange was all done Psaki had reminded Doocy that Trump “used his office to incite an insurrection,” and “put political pressure on senior DOJ officials to propagate lies about the election to the point where they threaten to resign en masse.”

Doocy Monday afternoon had jumped on President Joe Biden’s response to a reporter’s question Friday. When asked if the January 6 Committee’s subpoenas against those who refuse to comply should be enforced, the President said they should be.

Some, including Doocy, are accusing Biden of reneging on a promise to not weigh in on the Justice Dept.’s decisions whether or not to prosecute cases – something Donald Trump did on a regular basis. But enforcing a subpoena is not deciding whether or not to prosecute a case. The DOJ, or, in this case, U.S, Attorneys, have a legal mandate to enforce congressional subpoenas.

Here’s part of the exchange:

And here’s how people are responding:

 

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.