I am on the ground in Syracuse preparing for next week's court trial involving the murder of Lateisha Green. I will be in Syracuse with a couple of our sister organizations throughout the entire trial working with both the family and media outlets covering this profoundly sad story.
On November 14, 2008, "Teish," a young African American transgender woman, was shot and killed. You can read more about her story here.
For the past few months, I have been working with the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) and the Rainbow Alliance of Central New York to raise awareness around Teish's murder and ensure media coverage is fair and accurate throughout the trial.
This particular trial is important. Teish's murder will be the first hate crimes prosecution in New York State involving the murder of a transgender person. It is also the first murder ever classified as a hate crime in Onondaga County.
On Monday, July 13, Dwight DeLee will go on trial for the murder of Lateisha Green. If DeLee is found guilty, it will be only the second conviction involving the murder of a transgender person as a hate crime in the United States. The first occurred earlier this year in the trial for the murder of Angie Zapata in Greeley, Colorado - you can read about our extensive work with the Zapata family here.
Prior to the trial, GLAAD, TLDEF and the Rainbow Alliance have planned a community memorial service at a local church to remember Teish and her life. Teish's family will deliver brief remarks followed by a few performances by local groups. The service will close with doves and bubbles being released outside of the sanctuary.
I have been speaking with reporters and journalists about the memorial service. We are expecting The Associated Press and The Syracuse Post-Standard among a few others to attend the service and provide coverage leading up to Monday's trial.
We have also arranged for a press conference to occur before the trial begins on Monday. Roxanne Greene, Teish's mother, will deliver a brief statement, followed by remarks from the Rainbow Alliance of Central New York, the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and Empire State Pride Agenda.
I wanted to provide our readers with a few details about what you can do before the trial begins to unfold:
- We wanted to let you know that readers can submit personal notes of encouragement to Lateisha's family during this difficult time. You can email correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We cannot guarantee the family will be able to reply to your emails. Please do not direct media requests to the family's email address. GLAAD is fielding all media requests for the family, so please email me instead at email@example.com.
- Make sure to visit and join the Justice For Teish Facebook group for news and updates about the trial. The group has 4730 members and counting. GLAAD and TLDEF are administrators so we will be posting information to update members throughout the trial.
- GLAAD and TLDEF have also teamed up to tweet live throughout our time in Syracuse:
You can follow me on Twitter for media developments, observations during the court trial and other updates at @Andy_Marra.
I will also be blogging throughout the trial to keep our readers updated on the trial and any related developments.
Please also follow Michael Silverman on Twitter for legal analysis and commentary related to the court trial at @TLDEF.
I need to go and prepare for several meetings including one with Lateisha's family. But make sure to check back often for the latest developments at GLAADblog or by following us on Twitter.