Meredith Deliso, ABC, June 2, 2020
LGBTQ advocates are calling for a full investigation and accountability into the shooting death of a black trans man by a police officer in Tallahassee, Florida, last week.
The Tallahassee Police Department said an officer was responding to a deadly stabbing incident on May 27 when they came across Tony McDade, who matched the description of the stabbing suspect, in the area. McDade allegedly pointed a gun at the officer, and the officer fatally shot him, Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell said in a press briefing following the shooting.
The death of McDade, 38, was the third fatal officer-involved shooting in the Florida capital in two months.
His death — two days after George Floyd’s while in police custody — has sparked an outcry from advocacy groups.
“Justice cannot be served without accountability,” Natishia June, the deputy field director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, said during a press briefing Monday calling for an independent investigation into his death. “The Tallahassee Police Department must be held accountable to Tony McDade’s family and the community they are sworn to protect and serve.”
Equality Florida Executive Director Nadine Smith told ABC News there’s a pattern of police restraint against white suspects, and “zero when the person you’re dealing with is black.”
McDade’s death is believed to be at least the 12th violent death of a transgender or gender nonconforming person so far this year in the U.S., according to the Human Rights Campaign.
The National Black Justice Coalition called for a “full and complete investigation” following news of McDade’s death.
The officer who shot and killed McDade has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, the department said. The officer’s name has not been released.
On Monday, the Florida Police Benevolent Association filed a motion to withhold the name of the officer under Florida’s Marsy’s Law, which protects the identity of victims, according to Tallahassee ABC affiliate WTXL.