Islan Nettles and her two friends, also transgender women, were just walking down the street of New York’s Harlem, when a group of men stopped them to chat up and get acquainted. After they realised the beautiful girls are actually men the violent brawl started.
James Dixon pushed Nettles away, repeatedly punched her in the face so she fell and hit her head on the pavement. The woman, who was battered beyond recognition, died the following week at hospital from a serious brain injury, in 2013 she was 21.
When Nettles died, hundreds of her suporters came out to protest. Soon after the attack the men were detained and the investigation started.
Initially, Dixon denied the accusations but later confessed he flew into a “blind fury” when he realized that the woman he was flirting with was transgender and beat her to a pulp. More than two and a half years since Nettles death Dixon has been jailed for 12 years.
Speaking after the hearing at court, the victim’s aunt said expressed her dissatisfaction with the sentence, calling it too lenient, she said: “It’s not enough time. That’s not fair at all. My nephew is dead.”
This is not the first time trangender women became victims of transphobic or homophobic attacks: several months ago an American marine has been sentenced to 12 years in jail for killing a transgender woman after oral sex with her.
Every three days a murder of a trans person is reported, and many more are believed to go unreported. Hate crimes against trans people are common even recently, and “in some instances, inaction by police or other government officials leads to the untimely deaths of transgender victims.