ONTD Political

"CeCe" McDonald: Black, Transgender Woman Faces Murder Trial for What Supporters Call Self-Defense

4:34 pm - 04/28/2012
A transgender African-American woman is set to go on trial next week on charges of second-degree murder for an altercation after she was reportedly physically attacked and called racist and homophobic slurs outside a Minneapolis bar last year. Chrishaun "CeCe" McDonald received 11 stitches to her cheek and was reportedly interrogated without counsel and placed in solitary confinement following her arrest. There were reports that the dead victim, Dean Schmitz, had a swastika tattooed on his chest. McDonald’s supporters say the case is symptomatic of the bias against transgender people and African Americans in the criminal justice system. "People were very enraged about what had happened to her and the refusal of Hennepin County to recognize her right to self-defense," says Katie Burgess, executive director of Trans Youth Support Network, who has helped draw attention to the case and notes transgender people of color are twice as likely to experience discrimination as their white peers. We also speak with Rai’vyn Cross, one of McDonald’s best friends. [includes rush transcript]

Source has video

Her trial is the 30th. For those who don't know about Cece, go here to read about the case.

Mods idk if this needs a cut since its kinda short?
zeonchar 28th-Apr-2012 10:36 pm (UTC)
Wow, this is just sickening. How did she kill him? I am curious...
zeonchar 28th-Apr-2012 10:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, I see at source that he died from a pair of scissors through the swastika tattoo on his chest.
ladypolitik 29th-Apr-2012 12:03 am (UTC)
Poetic justice.
sparkindarkness 29th-Apr-2012 11:47 am (UTC)
Y'know, that description alone makes me think she is completely and utterly innocent and needs a medal
zeonchar 29th-Apr-2012 03:21 pm (UTC)
Yeah and honestly, she was attacked to a beer mug to the face. That could have killed her! She has every right to fight back and defend herself.
thecityofdis 29th-Apr-2012 07:18 pm (UTC)
Co-fucking-signed.
yamamanama 28th-Apr-2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Would there be a trial if the Nazi did the stabbing?
ladypolitik 29th-Apr-2012 12:03 am (UTC)
Exactly.
iamduvet 29th-Apr-2012 01:23 am (UTC)
Most likely not unfortunetly.
makemerun 29th-Apr-2012 01:31 pm (UTC)
"It was a negligent discharge!"
redstar826 29th-Apr-2012 03:10 am (UTC)
I'm getting the following message for that link

"This content is currently unavailable
The page you requested cannot be displayed right now. It may be temporarily unavailable, the link you clicked on may have expired, or you may not have permission to view this page."
angelofdeath275 29th-Apr-2012 02:08 pm (UTC)
oh i'll just paste the whole thing:

On Friday, April 27th, CeCe McDonald appeared in court for her final pre-trial hearing. Both the defense and the prosecution argued motions on which evidence could be admitted or not, whether or not to allow expert witnesses, and whether or not supporters can wear Free CeCe gear in court.



The prosecution motioned to prevent people in the courtroom from wearing any t-shirts, buttons or anything that shows support for CeCe in any way. The motion was granted. (This means that we cannot wear support wear during CeCe's trial.)



The defense motioned to admit evidence that the deceased, Dean Schmitz, had a swastika tattoo on his chest and prior convictions for domestic assault. The prior convictions cannot be brought up in court and the judge will rule on the swastika tattoo by Monday morning.



The defense motioned to admit the criminal theft record of witnesses against CeCe. These motions were denied. Another motion to admit the convictions of one witness against CeCe for providing false information to the police and using a false name was granted. Notably, however, the prosecution motioned to admit into evidence that CeCe was convicted of writing a bad check to speak to her dishonesty as a witness. This motion was granted.



The defense motioned for the inclusion of an expert witness to speak to the deceased's toxicology report to explain the potential effects of chemicals such as cocaine, methamphetamine, and alcohol in his system. The judge will allow the expert to testify about these chemicals and their effects in general.



The defense motioned for the inclusion of an expert witness on transgender issues to speak to the climate of violence perpetrated on the trans community and to educate jurors on trans issues. A full decision on this motion will happen on Monday, April 30th. These rulings are helping determine how CeCe's trial will play out, so keep your eye on these announcements for the latest updates. Trial proceedings are still scheduled to begin on Monday, April 30th at 9am,

although things won't really be underway until Tuesday. So plan to start coming to court Tuesday, May 1st at 9am wearing purple in solidarity with CeCe!
cozmic_oceanz 29th-Apr-2012 05:06 am (UTC)
I mean, she SHOULD be on trial, though. I mean, it isn't ridiculous because someone was murdered. One thing I have realized with the whole Trayvon Martin case is that murder is murder, and anyone and everyone who kills someone else should probably go to court for it UNLESS it is a completely obvious situation, of course.
I just really hope the ruling is not bias because of her background.
roseofjuly 29th-Apr-2012 06:36 am (UTC)
#1, there doesn't seem to be any evidence that she was actually the one who did the stabbing. And #2, she was the ONLY one who was arrested. What about the woman who STARTED the fight by smashing a glass so hard into her face that she cut through her entire cheek?

It's also really disgusting that you are comparing this to the Trayvon Martin case.
cozmic_oceanz 29th-Apr-2012 02:23 pm (UTC)
Yeah I read this really, really late last night and wasn't really thinking it through/kind of skimmed through it. What I meant about Trayvon was just that I felt like "murder is murder", but again I didn't really read through it and realize how obviously self defense this was. Sorry =x I take it all back =x
vvalkyri 30th-Apr-2012 03:25 am (UTC)
I'm seeing a lot of wrong here, including that prior assault convictions on the deceased aren't allowed to be admitted, and including that some of the other records of various witnesses won't be admitted. And if McDonald was the only one arrested that's also insane - there's clear assault and battery by someone.

That said, in and of itself a trial to prove self defense doesn't strike me as insane - one mantra I remember from women's self defense was "I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6" - the recognition is that there are times one must kill in self defense, and that yes, that could quite likely end up in court.

Re even obviously self defense, one of the biggest problems with the Stand Your Ground laws (and especially in Florida) is that police are given the decision re self defense or not, something rightly argued should be done in a far more orderly fashion, at trial. [edited to add a better segue to the 3rd paragraph re SYG, which MN most likely doesn't have, requiring a trial when there's a death attributable to another person]


edit2: I'd listened to some video from DemocracyNow yesterday; on reading through the source I'll augment the Whole Lotta Wrong from the first paragraph with a WTF on the prosecution and the police behavior, as well as the solitary, which I'd forgotten.

Edited at 2012-04-30 04:57 am (UTC)
angelofdeath275 29th-Apr-2012 02:09 pm (UTC)
Don't fucking compare this case to Trayvon's just because they both happen to be black.
cozmic_oceanz 29th-Apr-2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
As I said above "Yeah I read this really, really late last night and wasn't really thinking it through/kind of skimmed through it. What I meant about Trayvon was just that I felt like "murder is murder", but again I didn't really read through it and realize how obviously self defense this was. Sorry =x I take it all back =x"

I shouldn't really comment on things when I'm half awake, heh. MY BAD WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN :(
thecityofdis 29th-Apr-2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
Murder is murder? Really?

Self-defense is in no way close to what Zimmerman did. Calling the latter such doesn't make it true.

The Republican Party called; they want their false equivalencies back.
cozmic_oceanz 30th-Apr-2012 01:41 am (UTC)
dude, I just said that none of it came out right and I misunderstood what I was reading because it was late at night. I agree, self defense is not murder. sorry lj comments isn't my greatest way of expressing opinions especially when it's been a loooong past few days.
cozmic_oceanz 30th-Apr-2012 01:42 am (UTC)
and on that note, sorry for my less than eloquent grammar. seriously just had three graduations one for two hours in 30 degree weather and moved out of a big house jlkjkdsfjkldfskldsflkdsfklj
mahsox_mahsox 29th-Apr-2012 07:32 am (UTC)
2nd degreee murder? That's like a charge of manslaughter, right?

I guess the outcome will depend on *exactly* what the dude she stabbed was up to at the time. Anyone know a link that states exactly what witnesses saw him doing? Was he swinging punches? Did he have a hold of anyone? The stories mention some verbal abuse by the group he was probably with (unpleasant, but not legally a defense for stabbing somsone) a glassing by someone other than the deceased, and a fight in which the deceased's role is not made clear other than that CeCe and her friends feel a stabbing was a reasonable response. So, um, what did he actually do?
redstar826 29th-Apr-2012 12:01 pm (UTC)
yeah, I have a feeling that this will come down to witness testimony. If you have two small groups of people getting into a brawl, they would be able to interview the others who were there and see how their stories do or do not match up. And depending on where this bar was and how busy of an area it was in, you may have other witnesses who were going in/out of that bar or who were coming in and out of other nearby restaurants/bars/etc

a quick googing tells me that Minnisota has an indoor smoking ban that applies to most businesses, so you may have other people standing outside of the bar so they could smoke.
thecityofdis 29th-Apr-2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
No. Second degree murder is more severe than manslaughter.

This whole thing is bullshit.
running_jumping 29th-Apr-2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
I'm really confused about why the woman who smashed the glass didn't get arrested...sounds like she 'hit first.'
vvalkyri 30th-Apr-2012 02:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that's one of many things that stands out to me as odd in this case. In non SYG states it's pretty standard to make an arrest after a homicide, even in a clear self defense situation*, but the length of time she's been kept in jail, the treatment while in jail, the negligence re medical treatment while in jail, and the odd choices re whose past convictions can be mentioned in court... agh.



*which may or may not have been the presumption by authorities - the undisputed first attacker is apparently not the deceased - per the linked article,
There are varied accounts of what happened on June 5, but CeCe and the people she was with all agree on the following details. Around 12:30 am, CeCe was walking to the grocery store with some friends, all of them young, African American, and either queer or allied. As they passed a local bar, the Schooner Tavern, a group of older, white people who were standing outside the bar’s side door began hurling racist and transphobic slurs at them, without provocation. They called CeCe and her friends ‘f------,’ ‘n------,’ and ‘chicks with dicks,’ and suggested that CeCe was ‘dressed as a woman’ in order to ‘rape’ Dean Schmitz, one of the attackers. When CeCe approached the group and told them that her crew would not tolerate hate speech, one of the women said, “I’ll take you bitches on,” and then smashed her glass into CeCe’s face. She punctured CeCe’s cheek all the way through, lacerating her salivary gland. A fight ensued, during which one of the attackers, Dean Schmitz, was fatally stabbed.

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