Statement by Senator Hoylman in Wake of Death of Transgender Woman Attacked in Harlem

Brad Hoylman

August 23, 2013

New York, NY (August 23, 2013) – New York State Senator Brad Hoylman released the following statement about the death last night of a young transgender woman, who reportedly had been the victim of a brutal, bias-motivated attack:

“Another week, another apparent deadly hate crime against an LGBT person in New York City. This time the victim was Islan Nettles, a 21 year old transgender woman, who died in the hospital last night after she was allegedly assaulted by a group of men in Harlem Saturday simply because she was transgender. I extend my deepest condolences to Ms. Nettles’ family and friends.

The violence said to have been unleashed upon Ms. Nettles is a chilling reminder of the particularly intense hatred and discrimination transgender New Yorkers face. We must eradicate hate violence in our society, and I renew the call I made in my recent report on New York State's Hate Crimes Law for the passage of the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (S195 Squadron/A4226 Gottfried), which would outlaw discrimination against and provide hate crimes protections for transgender New Yorkers like Ms. Nettles.

The truth is that in most parts of New York, transgender individuals have little recourse to protect themselves from the violence, hatred and discrimination afflicted upon them. Ms. Nettles’s death should serve as a wake up call to my colleagues in the State Senate that we need to act now to protect New Yorkers like her, and ensure that she did not die in vain.”

Senator Hoylman’s Hate Crimes Law Assessment report issued August 16, 2013 can be downloaded here.

Senator Hoylman urges anyone with additional information about any of these or other attacks to contact the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.