Today is Transgender Remembrance Day. Founded in 1999, this is a day set aside each year to remember the transgendered people who have been victims of hate crimes and other abuse throughout the year. Unfortunately, this type of shitty behavior is still going on as we speak. Case in point: former Memphis Police Officer Bridges McRae.
McRae was indicted yesterday on a civil rights violation in the beating of transgendered woman Duanna Johnson. According to the indictment, McRae "repeatedly hit Duanna Johnson with his fists and handcuffs on February 12, 2008." In an interview with Eyewitness News, Johnson stated that McRae called her derogatory names and that another officer, J. Swain, held her down while McRae beat her. Oh, and the beating took place inside the Shelby County Jail holding area. Both officers were fired from the Memphis Police Department, but not until a video of the assault was released to the media last June.
What the fuck?
To make this tragic story even worse, Duanna Johnson was found shot to death on November 9 in North Memphis. Police do not have any suspects in the case, but are asking anyone with any information about the crime to call 901.528.2274.
It is a sad state of affairs in this country when a police officer can beat someone up and continue working, supposedly protecting the public, for more than three months before he/she is fired. It is a sad state of affairs when anyone is allowed to exhibit such insanely hateful behavior in any capacity, especially when that behavior endangers the lives of others (which it usually does).
The harrasment, assault, and murder of transgendered people (or any people) is a tragic reality of our times, and it is for that reason that we celebrate Transgender Remembrance Day. Hopefully someday soon we won't have to.