Police Charge Suspect in Fatal Beating of Transgender Woman Islan Nettles

More than one year after Islan Nettles, a transgender woman, was brutally beaten and killed in New York City, a suspect has been charged with first- and second-degree manslaughter and first-degree assault, reports BuzzFeed.

Prosecutors say that on August 17, 2013, a group of seven men began harassing Nettles and two other transgender women in Harlem. One of the men, James Dixon, punched Nettles in the face, causing her to fall and strike her head on the concrete, knocking her unconscious. He continued beating her, and she later died from her brain injuries.

Officials arrested a suspect in 2013, but Dixon ended up turning himself in to authorities shortly after the attack. However, police officers spent more than a year investigating the details of the case before formally charging Dixon. 

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The allegedly sluggish handling of the investigation prompted numerous protests across the city. The city claims, though, that they were conducting a thorough investigation.

“Over the past 18 months, my office has exhaustively investigated this case with the primary objective of making sure that justice is served for Islan Nettles,” said District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance in a written statement.