A year after transgender woman Islan Nettles was killed in New York, an arrest has finally been made.
According to the New York Daily News, James Dixon was charged with second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault. Dixon was among seven men present in Harlem on Aug. 17, 2013, when an argument broke out with Nettles and her friends. The 24-year-old catcalled Nettles and later threw homophobic slurs at the women after realizing they were transgender.
A fight ensued and Dixon punched Nettles in the face before and after she hit the ground. The 21-year-old died after spending a week in a coma.
Nettles’ mother Delores spoke to reporters about the indictment, calling it a victory for the LGBTQ community.
“I’m thankful so much for them because without them I wouldn’t have support. We fought for what we wanted, so I’m very glad for that,” she said. “I’m overwhelmed and my God is good,” adding that the long wait for action was “bothersome, troublesome…but at least now I can get a little closure.”
After countless protests and outcry from the community, officials explained the delay had to do with Dixon and another man accused of killing Islan. Paris Wilson, 20, was initially arrested and charged with the crime. Dixon confessed a few days after, but a clear story wasn’t readily available since the men were intoxicated during the incident.
Wilson’s charges were dropped after police determined he had nothing to do with the fight.
The second man, Dixon, bears a “striking resemblance” to Wilson, prosecutors said, and both were dressed similarly on the night of the attack. Wilson was in the group of seven, “but did not participate in the attack in any way,” Viorst said. Dixon turned himself in days after the attack with Wilson’s mother after going to their apartment and acknowledging that he’d been the attacker.
Dixon pleaded not guilty and is expected back in court March 19.
SOURCE: New York Daily News | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty