CeCe McDonald Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

In the summer of 2011, CeCe McDonald encountered Dean Schmitz while she was walking with a group of friends past a bar. According to witnesses, Schmitz directed a number of transgender and racial slurs at CeCe and provoked a fight, which resulted in McDonald stabbing Schmitz.

CeCe’s supporters had fought for the charges against McDonald to be dropped. Last month, supporters delivered to Hennepin County Attorney Michael Freeman a petition for dropping the charges with over 15,000 signatures and many letters of support for McDonald from organizations and people from all over the world.

“Freeman’s aggressive prosecution of CeCe was a continuation of the racist, transphobic assault that led to her being charged and resulted in the tragic death of one of the assailants,” said Kris Gebhard of the CeCe McDonald Support Committee. “We’ve been proud to stand with CeCe as she fought this unjust prosecution and will continue to stand with her as she fights for justice as a trans woman of color within the prison system.”

This week, McDonald agreed to a deal that convicted her of manslaughter, rather than murder, in the fatal stabbing of Schmitz. Her supporters plan to be at the courtroom for her sentencing on June 4th and say that they will continue to rally support for McDonald and to demand justice for all trans people and people of color.

Colorlines has written a series of articles about the CeCe McDonald case, all of which present invaluable viewpoints on this case and the ramifications of the plea bargain.

For more information, visit http://supportcece.wordpress.com/