The family of murdered Syracuse transgender woman LaTeisha Green spoke to the media yesterday in a prelude to the official start of the trial. Green's grief stricken parents Roxanne Green and Albert Cannon along with her brother Mark Cannon, who was beside LaTeisha Green the night she was gunned down was unable to speak and designated Rhonda Gary, Green's aunt, to speak on behalf of the family.
LaTeisha Green was shot in the chest as she sat in a parked car on the evening of November 14, 2008 in Syracuse, New York by accused suspect Dwight R. DeLee. It is believed DeLee's motive was fueled by anti-gay/trans hatred towards the victim.
Prosecutors have charged Dwight R. DeLee with murder in the second degree, murder in the second degree as a hate crime, and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree in connection with Lateisha's murder. This is the first hate crime prosecution in New York State involving the murder of a transgender person. If DeLee is convicted of committing a hate crime, it will be only the second hate crime conviction involving the murder of a transgender person in the United States.
Family spokesperson Rhonda Gary spoke of LaTeisha Green's life and the unconditional love and support given by the family during her transition:
"LaTeisha was beautiful with a smile that could light up a room. At 16 she bravely came out to her family and friends and begin dressing as a woman. We never placed any conditions on our love and support, we whole heartedly accepted and supported her decision to live her life openly and proudly. We worked hard to support Lateisha when others tried to break her spirit".
Those "others" who taunted Green for being transgender in life are unrelenting in death. It's obvious by the number of hate-filled comments left by readers on syracuse.com who refuse to understand why there is a need for hate crime laws and why this case should be prosecuted as such.
There is a virtual blackout in the mainstream media regarding Green's murder and it's apparent that LGBT blogs are going to have to get this story out.
Get into the press conference in the video below. You can also follow the trial on Twiiter via The Transgender Legal Defense Fund.
|News conference by the family of murder victim LaTeisha Green|