Box Turtle Bulletin

Box Turtle BulletinNews, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric
“Now you must raise your children up in a world where that union of man and box turtle is on the same legal footing as man and wife…”
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Posts for November, 2008

More Details On Syracuse Shooting

Jim Burroway

November 20th, 2008

Details continue to emerge in the shooting case in Syracuse. It is now much clearer that Latiesha Green, 20, was a transgender woman. She began transitioning when she was sixteen. Police had originally identified her as a gay man.

Latiesha and her brother, Mark Cannon, 18, had been invited to a party. According to reports, they were sitting in the car when party guests gathered around the car and began yelling anti-gay slurs. Dwight DeLee went into the house and got a .22-caliber rifle. He then put the rifle into the driver’s side window and fired one shot. The bullet passed through Mark’s arm and struck Latiesha in the chest.

Despite being shot, Mark drove to the family’s home as his sister lay bleeding heavily in the front passenger seat. She died a short while later. According to paperwork filed with the court, the bullet had damaged both of Latiesha’s lungs and aorta, causing massive bleeding.

A vigil was held in front of Latiesha’s home on Monday evening. Another vigil is being held at noon today at Hedricks Chapel at Syracuse University.

[Hat tips: Autumn Sandeen, Werdna, and Rod McCullom]

Anti-Gay/Trans Murder In Syracuse

Jim Burroway

November 18th, 2008

A person identified in news reports as “a gay man who identified as a woman” was shot and killed Friday night in Syracuse.

According to Syracuse police, Dwight R. DeLee, 20, shot and killed Moses “Teish” Cannon Lateisha Green with a .22-caliber rifle Friday night because he didn’t like that she was openly gay. Teish was sitting in a car with her brother Mark Cannon, 18, outside a house where they had been invited to a party.

According to police chief Gary Miguel:

“There was no previous argument between these individuals, there was no previous fight, there was no bad blood,” Miguel said. “Our suspect took a rifle and shot and killed this person, also wounding his brother, for the sole reason he didn’t care for the sexual preference of our victim. Isn’t that sad? Isn’t that a sad situation that that’s the sole reason why?

“I talk to you about this atmosphere of violence and that certain individuals believe that violence is the answer no matter what, and here’s just another example,” Miguel said.

Mark Cannon suffered a non-life-threatening wound in the arm from the same bullet which killed Teish.

Cannon’s family accepted Teish’s sexual orientation and identification as female. Often when family members spoke of Cannon, they used “she”:

“Teish was loving, caring and compassionate,” said Rhonda Gary, Cannon’s aunt. “She carried herself with respect.”

Delee pleaded not guilty to charges of second degree murder. He is being held without bail. The investigation is continuing to determine if the shooting should be prosecuted as a hate crime.

Update: According to police, Teish was “not dressed as a woman” at the time of the shooting. I don’t know what that is meant to say exactly. I’ve updated the post to be more gender neutral, but I’m still looking for published confirmation as to Teish’s self-identity.

Update (11/20): New reports are emerging (thank you werdna) which are clarifying the situation:

The weekend victim of a brazen murder in Syracuse, N.Y.,  was transgendered, family and friends now tell area media outlets. Police originally had identified the victim as Moses Cannon, 20, and gay. Family members, however, now say Cannon went by the name Latiesha Green and was in the process of transitioning.

WSYR TV is reporting that Teish Green began transitioning at the age of sixteen. These are also the first reports that I’ve seen in which her entire chosen name was given.