AVP Demands Justice for Layleen Polanco

On Monday afternoon, AVP mobilized over 600 people at Foley Square to mourn the loss of, and demand justice for, Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, a 27-year-old Afro-Latinx transgender woman who was found dead in her cell at Rose M. Singer Center at Rikers on June 7, just eleven days before her next scheduled court date.

The news of Layleen Polanco’s death is particularly hard as it comes during a string of reported deaths of trans women of color. Whether the result of racist and transphobic hate violence, violence from a partner or date, or from neglect and abuse in ICE detention, these deaths highlight an epidemic of violence against trans women of color, particularly impacting Black trans women.

We organized the rally to hold the city and the Department of Corrections accountable and to demand the closure of Rikers. Layleen Polanco’s family, including her sister, mother, brother, along with other family members and close friends were in attendance. Layleen Polanco’s sister,

Melania spoke on behalf of the family, sharing her grief and anger over the lack of answers about the untimely death of her sister. Our support of the family and demands for justice continue.

The Anti-Violence Project calls for transparency and a full, and timely, investigation of Layleen Polanco’s death.

For more information on the rally, see some headlines below:

CNN: She was sent to Rikers Island because she couldn’t pay $500 bail. Now, she’s dead

NY Times: After a Transgender Woman’s Death at Rikers, Calls for Justice and Answers

Washington Post: A transgender woman died in her Rikers cell. Now her family is demanding answers.

For direct updates and information about AVP’s work, join our mailing list, here

For future AVP rallies and demonstrations, text ANTIVIOLENCE to 555-888.

AVP Learns of Hate Violence Incident in Times Square

AVP has learned of an anti-gay hate violence incident in Times Square. According to reports, a young woman was punched from behind in an attack that fractured her spine by a man who called her an anti-gay slur. The woman was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where she was treated for a fractured spine, police said.

The man, who is believed to be in his 50s, approached the 20-year-old victim on the Manhattan-bound E train near the Forrest Hills station on Nov. 30, the NYPD said. The man is described as about 5 feet, 11 inches tall and 220 pounds. His image is captured in video acquired by NBC New York.

Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

We know it can be hard to read these reports of violence against our communities. If you need support in these difficult times, you can always reach out to your local NCAVP member. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach our free bilingual national hotline at 212-714-1141 or report online for support.

NCAVP works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) and HIV-affected communities. NCAVP is a national coalition of local member programs and affiliate organizations who create systemic and social change. NCAVP is a program of the New York City Anti-Violence Project.

AVP learns of hate violence incident in Williamsburg

AVP has learned of an anti-gay hate violence incident in Brooklyn, NY. According to media reports, two gay men, 29 and 34, were attacked and beaten unconscious in Williamsburg around 1:00 am on Sunday, September 23. The suspect made anti-gay statements before assaulting the men who had left a popular Williamsburg gay bar, according to police. Local authorities are still searching for the suspect whose picture was captured as he fled the scene.

We have reached out to NYPD about the incident. If you have been impacted by the incident and would like to report or to seek support, reach out to AVP by calling our free and confidential 24/7 bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 or our online reporting form.

AVP will join the New York City’s Commission on Human Rights for a Day of Visibility on Friday, September 28, morning (8:00-9:30 am) in response to this hate violence. The Commission on Human Rights will be passing out Know Your Rights information and AVP will be sharing resources on our services for survivors.

If you know any information, please report to NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

Update: Brandon McNamara, 25, has been arrested and facing multiple charges for the incident. According to local news reports, “McNamara is charged with two counts each of second-degree assault as a hate crime, second-degree assault, second-degree aggravated harassment as a hate crime, first-degree harassment and second-degree harassment.”

AVP learns of incident in Hell’s Kitchen

AVP has learned of an incident involving a gay man in Hell’s Kitchen on August 14. 50-year-old Gregory Kanczes is reported to have been stabbed sixteen times by 25-year-od Geoffrey Tracy.  According to reports, Tracy stabbed Kanczes after Kanczes made sexual advances on him. They were living together.

Tracy was arraigned August 15 on charges of attempted murder and assault. Kanczes is in the hospital in critical condition.

AVP has reached out to NYPD, partner organizations, and to the office of Speaker Corey Johnson.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

AVP learns of a hate violence incident in Brooklyn

AVP has learned of an anti-gay hate violence incident in Brooklyn, NY. According to social media posts by a family member, a woman was walking in her neighborhood when a man started to follow her. The man taunted her saying “You think you’re a man? Since you think you’re a man, I’m going to treat you like a man,” before hitting her in the face. The survivor sustained severe injuries.

AVP has reached out to NYPD for more information and is working with partner organizations in the area to continue to build safer communities for LGBTQ and HIV-affected people.

If you witness hate violence, including physical violence, you can:
  • Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
  • Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
  • Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
  • Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.

 

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE:

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

AVP learns of IPV-related incident in Astoria

AVP has learned of a potential intimate partner violence related incident in Astoria, NY. A 48 year-old man was found dead in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 9. According to media reports, the victim was found on the ground with cuts, bruises, and mouth filled with dirt.

Police are trying to locate the boyfriend of the victim’s ex-lover for questioning as it’s been reported he was last seen with him.

We have reached out to NYPD and partner organizations for more information.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

 

AVP learns of incident at RIIS Beach

AVP has learned of a violent incident involving police at Riis Beach that occurred on Sunday, July 1, 2018. If you have been impacted by the incident and would like to report or to seek support, reach out to AVP by calling our free and confidential 24/7 bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 or our online reporting form.

AVP is reaching out to Parks Enforcement Patrol and the New York City Police Department for further information. We will be doing outreach in Riis Park in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and Know Your Rights resources. AVP will also provide opportunities for community members to attend Know Your Rights training sessions.

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’ve called the police, introduce yourself when they arrive. This shows that you know to report misconduct.
  • If you are harassed or attacked by the police, get their name and badge/car numbers.
  • You do not have to consent to a search of your person, your car, or your house. Do not try to stop police from searching you. Instead, repeat out loud, “I do not consent to this search.”
  • You have the right to watch and document police activities. Take video and pictures at a safe distance.

 

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

AVP learns of back to back anti-LGBTQ incidents in Queens

AVP learns of back to back anti-LGBTQ incidents in Queens; our work is not done.

On Sunday, June 3, 25 year-old elementary school teacher Brandon Soriano was enjoying the Queens Pride festivities. At around 10 pm, he decided to pick up some food before heading home. It was then Soriano heard someone yell an anti-gay slur, right before being physically attacked by a group of men until he became unconscious.

Five days later, a transgender woman was stabbed five times by a man just a few blocks away from where Soriano was attacked. Because of she is undocumented, transgender, and a sex worker, she is afraid to report the crime to authorities. The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs reported in its 2016 Hate Violence Report there was a 53% decrease over the last two years in survivors interacting with the police because of fear of bias, discrimination, and violence if they were to reach out to them.

TAKE ACTION

 

 

And you can always:

  • Report violence you experience or witness to AVP.
  • If you know someone who is an LGBTQ survivor of violence who is experiencing trauma or fear as a result of these recent actions, encourage them to contact AVP’s confidential 24-hour English/Spanish hotline at (212) 714-1141. They will be connected with a counselor who understands the ways this political climate is affecting our communities.
  • Get involved – volunteer with AVP!
  • Support AVP: Give now to ensure our voices are heard

AVP learns of pick-up homicide in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn

AVP mourns the death of Clifford Williams, a man of 60 years, who was bludgeoned to death on Wednesday, March 14 in his home in Bedford-Stuyvesant, NY. According to media reports, Williams met a 21-year-old man outside of a local restaurant and invited him to his home. It was there that Williams allegedly flirted with his guest and in response the guest attacked him with a dumbbell.

Williams’ stepfather, who lives at the residence, called the police after hearing the disturbance and seeing what occurred. The victim passed away at the hospital from his injury.

We send our care to his friends and loved ones.

AVP wants you to be safe. Use these safety tips when hooking up online or in person, and share them with friends. Hate violence is any act committed by a person or community against another because of hatred of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.

AVP learns of an anti-LGBTQ incident in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn 

AVP has learned of an anti-LGBTQ incident which occurred in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn on Tuesday, September 5th, 2017. According to media reports, the 43-year-old survivor was walking on Hancock Street near Marcy Avenue at around 9 a.m., when he was approached and punched in the face by a man he didn’t know who was shouting anti-gay slurs. NYPD are looking into this incident as a hate crime.

AVP has reached out to Make the Road New York, the office of City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the office of New York City Councilmember Robert E. Cornegy, the office of Public Advocate Letitia James, the New York City Commission on Human Rights, the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, the LGBT Liaison to the Police Commissioner, and the NYPD Community Affairs Bureau.

TAKE ACTION WITH AVP

We all have a role in ending violence. One way to take action right now is to take our Bystander Intervention Pledge, #IWillNotStandBy, to commit to look out for one another, to report anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination where we witness it, and to intervene in ways that are safe for ourselves and those around us.

If you witness hate violence you can:

Assess the situation to see how you can best take action. Only proceed if it is safe to do so in all of these instances.

  • Make your presence known by asking questions and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator.
  • Speak up, be LOUD, and call out what’s happening: identifying violence by name can help deter it.
  • Distract and divert the attacker’s attention by making a scene, and being noisy to draw the attention of others.
  • Record what’s happening by taking video on your phone.
  • Ask what support the survivor needs and provide it if you can.
  • Report the incident to AVP on our 24/7 hotline at 212-714-1141 or our Online Reporting Form. The hotline can also be a resource for the survivor if they so choose.

 

AVP will be doing outreach in Bedford-Stuyvesant in the weeks ahead to hand out safety information and resources.  Additionally, to work on issues of violence in an ongoing way, join AVP’s Hate Violence Community Action Committee, a community and survivor-led working group that addresses hate violence, police violence, hook-up violence, and discrimination against LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities, which meets monthly at AVP. To join us for outreach or to get involved with our Hate Violence Community Action Committee contact LaLa Zannell at lzannell@avp.org.

REPORTING VIOLENCE HELPS END VIOLENCE

AVP encourages you to report violence you experience or witness to our free and confidential 24-hour bilingual (English/Spanish) hotline at 212-714-1141 where you can speak with a trained counselor and seek support, or you can report violence anonymously online, or to ask for a counselor to reach out to you.