In November last year, Lateisha (Teish) Green, a 22 year old African American transgender woman, was shot and killed outside of a house party in Syracuse, New York.
On Friday, a jury found 20 year old Dwight Delee guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime, based on his perception of Lateisha Green’s sexual orientation.
The verdict is the first hate crime conviction for the death of a transgender person in New York and the second in the US. As a result, Delee faces additional jail time because he was convicted of a hate crime.
“Today’s verdict brings justice for Lateisha Green, but it can never heal the immense loss her family has experienced,” said Jarrett Barrios, incoming President of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD).
“We join Lateisha Green’s family in mourning her tragic death and honouring her legacy, and we call on the media to spotlight the pervasive violence our community continues to face across the nation.”
A statement issued by the family said: “Teish, a beautiful girl. A wonderful daughter. A brave soul. Teish was all of these things despite the adversity that regularly tried to weigh her down and overshadow her love of life. She was taken away from us too soon. All it took was one bullet.
A bullet from a rifle that pierced her lungs and heart. And it took this one mere bullet to end Teish’s life because she happened to be a transgender woman.”
The family also expressed its satisfaction with the verdict: “We have spent months waiting for this day to come. The jury convicted Dwight Delee of murdering Teish in cold blood. They found him guilty of targeting Teish simply because of her difference. And the jury has made it clear that any loss of life in our city and county because of anti-gay and anti-transgender bias is unacceptable and wrong. Justice has been done.”