Justice for Lateisha Green

On Monday, July 13th, the trial for the murder of Lateisha "Teish" Green - a 22-year-old African American transgender woman - will begin in Syracuse, New York. Beginning tomorrow and continuing through the end of the trial, TLDEF staff members will be on the ground in Syracuse, working with Lateisha's family to ensure that the public learns as much as possible about Lateisha's life, the tragic circumstances of her death, and the tremendous violence that transgender people continue to face.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the circumstances of Lateisha's death, on November 14, 2008, Lateisha was shot and killed outside a house party in Syracuse, New York.  The accused shooter, Dwight R. DeLee, was allegedly motivated by anti-LGBT bias and his belief that Lateisha was gay.  The Onondaga County District Attorney has charged DeLee with second degree murder as a hate crime.

That Lateisha was, in fact, transgender highlights the unique nature of this prosecution, as well as the need for reform of New York State and federal hate crime laws.  New York State law currently classifies it as a hate crime for an individual to target and attack a victim because of the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation.  While Lateisha was a transgender woman, Lateisha's murder is a hate crime because her attacker perceived her to be gay and targeted her for violence because of that perception.  Neither New York State nor federal hate crime laws include gender identity or gender expression as protected hate crime categories.

How to Get the Latest Trial Updates

We've posted a lot of information about Lateisha and violence against transgender people in our online resource kit.  We also want to make sure that you're the first to know what happens at the trial.  We'll be posting daily updates about the trial on our web site.  We'll also be sending out frequent Twitter updates from the courtroom.  You should follow us there if you want the quickest access to trial information.  Finally, we'll also be updating the Justice for Teish Green Facebook page regularly.

We're working in close partnership with GLAAD and the Rainbow Alliance of Central New York to ensure that Lateisha's story gets widespread attention, and is told in an accurate, inclusive and respectful manner.  You can get additional information by following GLAAD on twitter or by checking the GLAAD Blog.

How to Help

Please forward this message to your friends and ask them to follow the trial, too.  Write about Lateisha in your blogs and on your web sites.  And let us know if you see coverage of Lateisha's story that is unfair, inaccurate or disrespectful.  While we're going to do everything we can to make sure that Lateisha's story is told the right way, this is a tremendous undertaking, and we're counting on your help, too.

We'll plan to post our first updates after Saturday's memorial service.  If you're in the Syracuse area, please attend.  Until then, thank you, as always, for your support.