Tag Archives: AVP

Transgender woman dies after weekend attack in Harlem

Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old transgender woman attacked in Harlem, N.Y., over the weekend, has died, according to The New York City Anti-Violence Project.

Nettles, according to the AVP, was out with a group of friends on Aug. 17 when a group of men began throwing punches and yelling anti-gay and anti-transgender slurs.

The incident occurred at about West 148th Street and 8th Avenue.

Nettles was taken to Harlem Hospital, where, on Aug. 22, she was declared brain dead and was taken off life-support equipment.

The New York City Police Department has made one arrest in connection with the attack and investigations continue by the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, as well as monitoring by the AVP.

The AVP is organizing a vigil for the evening of Aug. 26.

On Aug. 23, after learning of Nettles’ death, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, issued a statement condemning “this horrendous act of violence” and calling on the NYPD to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.”

HRC said, “We send our deepest condolences to Ms. Nettles’ family, friends and loved ones and encourage those in NY area to join the AVP for the vigil Monday honoring her life.”

New York activists release video of alleged anti-gay police violence

The New York City Anti-Violence Project on June 10 released a 3-minute video said to show anti-gay violence by the New York City Police Department.

The incident occurred in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn on June 3.

The AVP, in a news release, said, three gay men – Josh Williams, Ben Collins and Antonio Maenza – reported they were walking past the 79th Precinct when an NYPD officer accused one of the men of public urination and attacked him, throwing him against a police car.

The AVP said other police officers joined in the assault, throwing the man to the ground and pepper spraying him while he was in handcuffs.

The man was handcuffed tightly, causing lacerations. He also was restrained at the hospital where he was treated.

The two other men also were arrested, according to the AVP, which planned to hold a news conference on June 11 at 1 Police Plaza in Manhattan.

AVP will be joined by the survivors, their lawyer, additional survivors of anti-LGBTQ police violence and community partners, including the LGBT Justice Project of Make the Road NY, Streetwise and Safe, the Safe OUTside the System Collective of the Audre Lorde Project, FIERCE, Communities United for Police Reform, Campaign to Stop the False Arrests, the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, the LGBT Advisory Panel to NYPD Commission Kelly, City Council Member Daniel Dromm.

AVP, according to the release, also reached out to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, the Office of New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the NYPD.

The AVP, in an annual report released earlier this month, said about 40 percent of LGBT people who interact with the NYPD report police misconduct and that reports of misconduct rose from 2008 to 2012.

The AVP also has reported a series of hate crimes against LGBT people in New York in recent weeks, which has prompted calls for self-defense training in the community and also Friday night safety walks in LGBT neighborhoods.

On the Web…


Anti-violence project issues cautions

The New York City Anti-Violence Project, headquarters for the national program, issued a warning about recent incidents of pick-up violence in the LGBT community.

According to the AVP, such crimes – harassment, physical violence, robbery – are the “least discussed forms of violence committed against LGBTQ communities.

To respond, the AVP offered a series of tips about staying safe:

• Have a safety plan. Let someone know your plans, such as who you’ll be with, an address of your meeting place, the phone number of the person you are meeting, and if your plans change. Brainstorm in advance people you feel comfortable sharing this information with, and ways that those people can support you.

• Meet a pick-up in a public place. Discuss what activities you are comfortable with and the ones that you are not.

• On bathrooms and other public spaces: Be aware that incidents can occur in these locations.  Be aware of others in the restroom, stay near the exit if possible, use single stall restrooms where available, and if you feel uncomfortable find a different restroom to use.

• Be aware of your surroundings. Locate establishments to seek help if you feel unsafe.

• Trust your instincts. If you feel threatened or unsafe at any point, remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. 

• You can say no:  No matter who initiates or how far you’ve gone, you can stop at any time for any reason.

• Use words to alert bystanders of what’s going on and to frighten (but not anger) an assailant.

• Move towards a “safer place,” like a more public space.

• Self defense. Use your body to defend yourself or get away from an assailant.

Leave a trail and use your tech. Program hotline information into your phone; let people around you know when you are leaving a place; text yourself or friends about where you’ll be or where you are; save messages on Facebook, MySpace, OKCupid, Grindr, etc.

Get Support.

If possible, consider medical attention after any incident; violence can create many physical and emotional issues.

Document an incident. Take photos of any injuries; keep records of emails, texts, calls.


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