December 15, 2008

Transgender Advocacy Group Mourns Death of José O. Sucuzhañay

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund Calls Upon All New Yorkers to Work Together to Curb Hate and Bias Crimes

New York – In an expression of solidarity with those who marched in the streets of Brooklyn to express outrage over the death of Jose O. Sucuzhañay, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund [TLDEF] urges all New Yorkers to come together to ensure hate and bias attacks become a thing of the past.

“This shockingly brutal crime defies explanation," TLDEF executive director Michael Silverman said.  "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Sucuzhañay family and we urge everyone — local residents, activists and elected officials — to come together and ensure hate and bias attacks become a thing of the past.”

Four men brutally beat Sucuzhañay with a baseball bat and bottles on the corner of Bushwick Avenue and Kossuth Place in Brooklyn as he and his brother walked home "arm in arm" early Sunday, Dec. 7. This attack comes less than a month after Dwight R. DeLee allegedly shot and killed Lateisha Green outside a Syracuse house party because he thought she was gay. Media reports later indicated Green was transgender, but her murder, along with Sucuzhañay’s tragic death, are the latest in a series of anti-LGBT and anti-immigrant attacks across New York State and the country.

TLDEF praises the community’s response to the attack against Sucuzhañay. And it further urges law enforcement officials across the country to work closely with victims of these attacks and their families, friends and neighbors to ensure these crimes become a thing of the past.

"We all have an obligation to work together to ensure hate crimes become a thing of the past," Silverman said.