The website DNA on Thursday reported doctors took Islan Nettles, 21, of Manhattan’s Harlem neighborhood off life support after they declared her brain dead.
The New York Police Department told DNA that Nettles was with several other trans women around 11 p.m. on August 17 when they encountered a group of men near the intersection of West 148th Street and Eighth Avenue in Harlem. The NYPD said a man used anti-gay slurs against Nettles as he beat her.
The website said Nettles had been on life support since the attack the NYPD continues to investigate as a hate crime.
“We are outraged by reports of a possible hate crime that resulted in the tragic death of a transgender woman in Harlem,” New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a joint statement she issued with New York City Councilmembers Robert Jackson and Inez Dickens who represent Harlem.
Nettles’ death comes slightly more than three months after Elliott Morales allegedly shot Mark Carson, a gay Brooklyn man, to death in Greenwich Village during what the NYPD has classified as a hate crime.
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects in June noted 25 people were murdered in 2012, which is the fourth highest yearly total it has recorded since it began to issue annual reports in 1996. NCAVP said 73.1 percent of the aforementioned homicide victims were people of color and 53.8 percent of them were trans women.
Quinn, a former executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project who seeks to succeed Mayor Michael Bloomberg in Gracie Mansion in November, told the Washington Blade earlier this month she would set a goal of the five boroughs “becoming a hate crime-free city” through working with the NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force, expanding the city’s anti-bullying curriculum and partnering with community and faith organizations if elected.
“That’s the work we have to keep doing until we get to the place where we get to zero as the statistics of hate crimes against any community,” Quinn said.
The New York City Anti-Violence Project said a vigil for Nettles will take place on Monday.