imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

WeHo: Transgenders Protest Araujo Non-Verdict

by April Ingram Saturday, Jun. 26, 2004 at 4:01 AM

Transgenders and their allies marched in West Hollywood Wednesday night to protest the hung jury result in the Bay Area trial of the murders of Gwen Araujo

Transgenders and their allies marched against the mistrial in a brutal murder of a transgender teen, Gwen Araujo, after the West Hollywood Transgender Task Force's forum discussed hate crimes against transgenders Wednesday night, June 23, at an auditorium in West Hollywood Park.

The case of the beating, rape and murder of Araujo ended in a mistrial Tuesday because of a Bay Area jury deadlocked over the first-degree murder charges against defendants Jason Cazares, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel. This mistrial enraged community members and became a heated topic of the forum “Facing Hate: Discrimination and Hate in the Transgender Community.”

Shirley Bushnell, chair of the task force, recounted the brutality of Araujo’s murder. Bushnell read aloud from a news report, “Magidson and Merel began slapping and strangling the 17-year-old inside the Merel house. Inside the kitchen, Merel hit Araujo with a frying pan and threw a soup can at her head with enough force to dent the can. Magidson then threw Araujo against the wall and began punching her, leaving cracks and indentations in the wall. Next, the men brought Araujo into the garage, where they strangled her with a rope and beat her with a shovel. The men tied up Araujo and threw her in the back of Magidson’s truck and drove four hours to dig a shallow grave and bury her in the Sierra foothills. After that, they stopped for breakfast at McDonalds.”

Maria Roman from Bienestar Community Services, Inc gave her thoughts on the Araujo case: “It makes me mad that it’s okay if we get justice later. We are looking at this trial to set a precedent. It’s not okay to be beaten, murdered, spat upon, and get justice later. We want justice now.”

Carolina Charm of the Los Angeles Independent Media Association drew parallels to Araujo’s murder to the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a black teenager who was beaten to death and thrown in a river after he chatted briefly with a white female. The men charged with his murder were found not guilty. However, Till’s murder was not forgotten and resulted in protests that fueled the then nascent civil rights movement. In a similar manner, Araujo’s murder is fueling the same public outrage toward those who commit hate crimes, and toward those who disregard transgenders as valuable members of society.

Vivianna Hernandez, a victim’s advocate of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, explained the “trans-panic defense” by recalling how her roommate was shot to death in 1974 in a San Francisco apartment. Hernandez said, “The police closed the case 72 hours because they concluded the victim had been shot because she attempted to mislead the defendant into believing that she was a woman. That was sufficient justification for murder.” Hernandez said that defense attorneys similarly went for the “trans-panic defense” in Araujo’s case, claiming the murder of the transgender teen was justified because she misled defendants of her gender identity. Hernandez says change is slowly being made, because unlike the past, the jurors in Araujo’s case did not focus on gender identity, but rather on the vicious conduct of the defendants.

Loni Petersen, of the hate crimes unit of the Los Angeles County’s District Attorney’s office, said the law enforcement system and criminal justice system are being more educated in how they handle transgenders and hate crimes. Petersen said, “This is not enough. The average citizen needs to be educated, because juries are made of the average citizens. They will determine whether there will be convictions or not. Many have no understanding of transgender issues or of hate crimes and many don’t care.” Petersen urges audience members to educate others of transgender issues and of hate crimes committed against them.

Talia Bettcher, professor Cal State Los Angeles, cited some frightening statistics of the numbers of trangenders who are killed each year. “Two transwomen were killed per month worldwide last year. Fourteen transgenders were killed in the U.S. last year.” Most of them do not make news headlines as Gwen Araujo’s murder had. Bettcher said that most of these crimes are committed against male-to-female transgenders and most were committed against transgenders of color. Bettcher said that transgenders are in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation” when it comes to revealing gender identity. This is because if transwoman passes as a woman, and people find out her biological gender, people will say “She’s really a man.” If I transwoman introduces herself as a transsexual, people will still say, “She’s really a man.”

“These issues are connected with what happened to Gwen and connected to the fact that she was continually represented in the media as biologically male but living as a female. Until this perception of transgenders as deceivers and pretenders is overcome, transgenders will continue to be open to a ‘transgender panic defense,’” said Bettcher.

Loni Petersen explained the “trans panic defense” and how it related to the trial of the three men charged with Gwen Araujo’s murder. The prosecution was asking for first-degree murder charges, which requires proving premeditation, meaning the defendants had thought about and planned the murder. The defense attorney wanted to lessen the charges to manslaughter by invoking a “panic defense” saying the defendants were so enraged when they found out Gwen was biologically male and they killed her in a heat of passion. The origin of the “trans-panic defense” according to Petersen, “came out of a ‘gay panic defense’ in which if a gay man hit on a heterosexual man, the heterosexual man had a right to attack.” Despite the arguments of the defense, seven of the 12 jurors wanted to convict the defendants of first degree murder. Petersen urged the audience to “give credit to the D.A. who is still pushing for first degree murder charges.”

A representative from the sheriff’s department gave advice on how to combat hate crimes. He advises people to program their local sheriff’s station or police department’s phone number into their cell phones. He said that people are advised to report everything that seems suspicious, even verbal threats.

Other issues brought up was the difficulty for homeless transgenders to be placed in shelters, because most shelters have beds for either male or female, and do not know where to place transgenders.

Another issue brought up was discrimination in the work force. Maria Roman said, “Transgenders are employable. I can tell my clients to wear a suit and I can teach them how to type, but if no one hires them, what is the point?” Roman also said that prostitution often results from discrimination in the work force. “Many people think sex work is wrong, but for a few transgenders sex work is the only option they have to feed themselves and keep and apartment.”

Report this post as:

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 4 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
hate crime = thoughtcrime Red Orick Saturday, Jun. 26, 2004 at 1:04 PM

Local News


lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy