on January 13, 2014
CeCe McDonald, a transgender woman imprisoned for fatally stabbing a man who attacked her, was released early from a Minnesota men’s prison today, BuzzFeed reports.
McDonald, who became an international symbol for the transgender rights movement, served nineteen months of a forty-one-month sentence.
“CeCe is doing well. She is in great spirits. She is happy to be free,” said Roxanne Anderson of the Trans Youth Support Network, who was in the car that picked McDonald up.
“This is a day to celebrate, and to honor CeCe for all she’s done from the day of her arrest to draw attention to the systemic violence women of color, and particularly LGBT women of color face everyday,” ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio told The Nation. “Her message from the start was not to sensationalize the story, but to bring attention to the issue.”
On June 5, 2011, McDonald was walking with friends to a grocery store when four white people accosted her group, all black, with racist and transphobic epithets. A fight broke out, in which McDonald was sliced in the face with glass. She stabbed Dean Schmitz, 47, in the chest with a pair of scissors, which she claimed was an act of self-defense. Schimtz died at the scene.
Originally charged with second-degree murder, which carries up to forty years in prison, McDonald took a plea bargain in May 2012 with the reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter. She was sentenced to three-and-a-half years at Minnesota Correctional Facility-–St. Cloud, a men’s prison, in June.
Transgender rights activists around the world rallied behind McDonald. Supporters held several demonstrations to protest her incarceration and Minnesota’s decision to send her to a men’s prison. Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox, a vocal McDonald supporter, is producing a film about her case.
Continue reading at: http://www.thenation.com/blog/177902/cece-mcdonald-was-released-prison-today#
Feministing: Photo of the day: CeCe McDonald released from prison