July 17, 2009, New York, NY – The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) today responded to the verdict in the trial involving the killing of Lateisha (Teish) Green. Green, a 22-year-old African American transgender woman, was shot and killed on November 14, 2008 in Syracuse, N.Y. Today a jury found 20-year old Dwight Delee guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as 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 honoring her legacy, and we call on the media to spotlight the pervasive violence our community continues to face across the nation.”
Today's verdict is the first hate crime conviction for the death of a transgender person in New York. Dwight Delee was found guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate-crime based on his perception of Lateisha Green’s sexual orientation.
GLAAD Senior Media Field Strategist Andy Marra has been on the ground throughout the trial in Syracuse, N.Y. working closely with Lateisha Green’s family, numerous media outlets and alongside our sister organizations the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund and the Empire State Pride Agenda. Marra worked to ensure that all media coverage of this case was fair, accurate and inclusive.
Following the verdict Lateisha Green's family released this statement:
"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. We have spent months waiting for this day to come.
"8 long months that have kept our family captive to our fears, sadness and anger. Afraid to leave our homes, sad to have lost Teish and angry that we couldn't prevent this from happening to our little girl. But today, the jury delivered a verdict that will end most of the horrors experienced by our family and friends.
"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.
"But we will never get to see Teish ever again. She will forever live in our hearts and minds. And it is our duty to share her story so that Teish's memory will be kept alive. We do this so this series of painful events will never happen again to any other person because they are different.
"Our family and friends will continue to talk about Teish so others may know the love and support that every child deserves regardless of their differences. We want to thank everyone who stood behind us and gave our family strength during such difficult times. The overwhelming amount of support has meant so much to us. We want to close by saying life is precious. Teish knew that and that's why she would tell everyone here to be brave. To be authentic and true to yourself. And Teish would give a beautiful and bright smile to everyone here. Thank you."