Joey Mogul, co-author of Queer (In)justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press), visited the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, April 23, as a guest of the CeCe Support Committee. Speaking in a Social Sciences Building conference room to a rapt audience of about 100 people, she said that Chrishuan “CeCe” McDonald is being railroaded through Minneapolis’ legal system. Kris Gebhard of the CeCe Support Committee and Michael Friedman, executive director of the Legal Rights Center gave introductory remarks.
Joey Mogul, partner at the People’s Law Office in Chicago and director of the Civil Rights Clinic at DePaul University College of Law, wrote The Dykier, the Butcher, the Better: the State’s Use of Homophobia and Sexism to Execute Women in the United States in New York City Law Review and co-authored In the Shadows of the War on Terror: Persistent Police Brutality and Abuse of People of Color in the United States for DePaul Journal for Social Justice. She has spoken widely before legal and general audiences on homophobic, sexist and racist arguments in criminal cases.
“CeCe” McDonald, charged with second-degree homicide, is scheduled to go on trial April 30. Her defense is that, in June of last year, she defended herself against harassment and assault.
Mogul maintains McDonald is a victim of racism and transgender phobia. “It’s ironic that [this happened] during Gay Pride Month,” Mogul said. “What’s tragic is that CeCe is the one being criminalized.”
According to Mogul, as McDonald and friends passed the Schooner Tavern in South Minneapolis, a group of patrons standing outside spewed epithets and threats and a woman hit McDonald with a mug, leaving a gash it took 12 stitches to close. Then, as McDonald fled, Dean Schmitz pursued her and she fatally stabbed him in fear of being further attacked. The sole person charged was CeCe McDonald.
Referring to defense motions in the case, Joey Mogul noted, “This is not the first time Schmitz has been known to use [such slurs]…as ‘nigger’ and ‘faggot’. It’s my understanding his brother admitted to the press that [Schmitz] is openly racist and trans-phobic. He’s been convicted on three prior cases for acts of violence.” She said McDonald had no criminal record. Mogul continued, “Why weren’t Schmitz and those with him charged with inciting to riot?” She also commented that, despite it being a matter of record that the woman assaulted McDonald, no charge was filed against her. “Instead, this woman is a witness for the prosecution.”