For Immediate Release
June 2, 2020
For more information, contact
Carter Brown, Black Transmen Inc Founder
Official statement from Black Transmen Inc regarding the
Senseless Loss of Tony McDade Due to Police Violence
Dallas, Texas – Black Transmen, Inc. is in grief over the death of Tony McDade, a Black Trans man, who was fatally shot to death by police, on May 27th, in Tallahassee, FL. Within hours preceding his demise, McDade posted a video on his Facebook page where he alleged to have been jumped and beaten up by 5 other men while no one assisted him, and expressed his intent for retaliation against his attackers.
In a local press conference with the Tallahassee police, TPD Sergeant Revell stated that McDade pointed a gun at an officer who then shot him. Contrarily, eyewitness accounts stated “As soon as he pulled up, I seen him (the police officer) just jump out the car, swing the door open and then just start shooting. I never heard ‘get down, freeze, I’m a officer’ I never heard anything, I just heard gunshots.”
Individuals who are inhumane, racist and transphobic that are employed in law enforcement are constantly killing us. Regrettably the acceptance of this behavior is crafted in the training and nurtured with the laws, policies and procedures that condone their use of deadly force as a first choice instead of a last resort.
Facets of McDade’s story are all too familiar to many Black trans folks as we hear of his trauma, getting locked into the prison system, being attacked and beaten by cops and community, and then killed. The Black trans community has far too long questioned why we don’t see the pain and outrage from our own Black community as it does for our cisgender, heterosexual brothers and sisters when our Black (trans) lives are lost.Founding Board Member Charley Burton stated, “BTMI exists for men like Tony, who expressed feelings of never fitting in anywhere. Men who walk a fragile and unique path between the shoulders of being a Black man in America and being trans in the Black community. Too often we are unseen and our cries go unheard until something like this happens.”
Black Transmen Inc partnered with the National Center for Transgender Equality to provide the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey: Report on the experiences of Black Respondents. Here are a few key findings that bear witness to the many challenges McDade faced that are all to common:
- More than half (51%) of Black trans men are survivors of sexual assault
- Black trans men are 72% more uncomfortable asking the police for help
- 61% of all Black respondents received multiple forms of mistreatment when interacting with police, including verbal, physical and sexual assault.
Founding Board Member Charley Burton stated, “BTMI exists for men like Tony, who expressed feelings of never fitting in anywhere. Men who walk a fragile and unique path between the shoulders of being a Black man in America and being trans in the Black community. Too often we are unseen and our cries go unheard until something like this happens.”
Just a year ago, the world took notice to Muhlaysia Booker, a transgender woman of Dallas, TX when a video was publicized of her being punched and kicked by several men as she lay on the ground. Assumingly, this was a similar scenario for McDade, a transgender man, of being beaten by a mob of men. Booker chose not to retaliate and leave it to police to apprehend her attackers. McDade, who expressed his strong distrust of the government, chose to seek street justice. In both scenarios, the police failed to protect these people who were victims of assault.
In the occupancy of being a Black trans man, your Blackness always dominates the scales of judgment against you, adding masculinity and trans identity seemingly further discounts the value of our lives. Many of us, Black trans men, experience the same discrimination, police harassment and brutality as our Black (cisgender) male counterparts, usually with added scrutiny from both police, the Black community, and society.said BTMI Founder, Carter Brown
We demand change in the policies and procedures followed by law enforcement around using deadly force so that the priority is shifted to preserve human life at all cost. We want to see “I Can’t Breathe” legislation that represents this change and that honors the memory of Tony McDade, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Dominique Clayton, Eric Reason, Atatiana Jefferson , Botham Jean, Philando Castile, Bettie Jones, Walter Scott, Natasha McKenna, Tamir Rice, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Tanisha Anderson, Michelle Cusseaux, Ezell Ford, Eric Garner, precious lives lost due to police violence. ALL Black Lives Matter.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Martin Luther King Jr
Black Transmen Inc and community partners are supporting non-violent protesters taking a stand for racial & gender equality with free masks and pro bono legal representation. Also, we ask that you join us in contacting Officer Kevin Bradshaw at 850-556-1726 with the demand for a full and thorough investigation of the shooting officer and the turn of events that led to the death of Tony McDade.
Black Transmen Inc (BTMI) is the First National Non-Profit Organization of African American transmen solely focused on acknowledgment, equality, social advocacy and empowering trans men with resources to aid in a healthy transition and human experience. BTMI has created a space of support and care through it’s peer to peer mentoring program for Black trans men of all ages and stages of transition. All BTMI programming aims to give support in an affirming environment that promotes mental and physical health and wellness, self empowerment and positively enhances the development and navigation as a Black man in America