FREE SPEECH ZONE | Transgender Woman Cites Self-Defense in Altercation

In the early morning of June 5th,  a young trans woman of color named Chrishaun McDonald and  her friends walked by the Schooner Tavern at the busy intersection of 27th and Lake in Minneapolis.  A white, older bar patron named Dean Schmitz stood at the door of the Schooner.  According to McDonald’s roommate, Schmitz started harassing McDonald, shouting, ” Did you think you were going to rape somebody in those girl clothes?” and adding racial slurs. What happened next is unclear.  Minutes later, Schmitz was dead and McDonald was in custody.   The Star Tribune writes that according to McDonald, Schmitz attacked her and ran into a pair of scissors that she held in self-defense.Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Now, in prison, Chrishaun is being held in solitary on a charge of second degree murder.  The trans rights advocate who has been trying to meet with her has been turned away repeatedly.  She is being charged as the wrong gender and media coverage describes her as a “man”.  News from the jail suggests harassment and abuse.  And let’s not kid ourselves – we’re looking at a court system where the deck is stacked against trans people, working class people and people of color. Continue Reading