Alex Blaze

Mistrial in Duanna Johnson's case

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 20, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: bridges mcrae, Duanna Johnson, hung jury, memphis tennessee, police brutality, trial

The jury failed to come back with a verdict in the case of Bridges McRae, the cop who punched her and used pepper spray on a transgender arrestee after calling her a "faggot" and "he/she" and by her former first name.

The Commercial Appeal has more on why the jury couldn't come to a decision:

One female juror, who asked not to be identified, said later that the verdict was 11-1 in favor of guilty.[...]

The seven women and five men on the jury asked the judge Thursday for an expanded definition of the term "willfulness," which was used in the jury instructions.

In criminal law, willfulness refers to an act done with a bad purpose and without justifiable excuse.

The judge issued a supplemental instruction, saying that if the defendant voluntarily and deliberately committed an act that deprived Johnson of a constitutional right, it is not necessary for the government to prove that McRae knew his actions would violate that right.

The female juror who spoke Monday said that term remained a sticking point and led to the deadlock.

"We were seeking justice. That's all," she said, declining to reveal how she had voted.

It's only a matter of time before the lone holdout gets interviewed. I'd like to know what the sticking point was here - were the officer's actions not voluntary? Deliberate? Did he have an excuse? Does someone being tall mean that they can't possibly be beat down, even if there are five eyewitnesses, video, and other witnesses who testified that McRae bragged about beating her down afterwards? Or did someone just decide to side with the white, Christian, cis, straight male cop instead of the black trans woman arrested (with charges later dropped) for prostitution?

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This was in Tennessee, right? And we are surprised . . . how?

I'm disgusted to read this. If the story were about any woman who wasn't transgender, the jury would have sent the guy to the chair!

I'm glad (if you could call it that) that at least the stupidity in this case isn't in the majority.

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | April 20, 2010 12:45 PM

Or did someone just decide to side with the white, Christian, cis, straight male cop instead of the black trans woman arrested (with charges later dropped) for prostitution?

Almost certainly that one.

"think of the money they spent" what do you expect from Faux "News"? There isn't anything about this that doesn't turn the stomach.

So the video and eyewitness testimony weren't enough for that one juror? This makes me angry, and I rarely get angry. I hope the prosecution brings the case again.

Turns my stomach to see that good ole boy holding a Bible. It is a shame Duanna Johnson was murdered in November of 2008 by unidentified assailants and therefore couldn't take the stand. I wonder how many other women McRae has beaten as uppidity prostitutes over the years he spent as a cop.

That's really what concerns me the most. Was this an isolated incident or was it just the first time there's an actual video? How many similar incidents have happened but without video backing them up and have never seen the light of day in the media? To me, that's the scariest part.

Having been a juror on an alleged sexual assault by a teen male, I can understand the result here. In my jury, one gentleman(and I use the term loosely) said he would never convict a kid for doing what the kid do, even if he was guilty of doing it. I can see this same type of personal opinion intruding into this trial.

And today Autumn Sandeen willingly placed herself in the hands of the police on all of our behalf.
"Greater love has no women..."

You get it Maura. You've seen the facts. You know what she's done, and the risk she's taking. Thank you for speaking out here.

While having a "martyr to the cause" would be useful, I prefer having my friend whole, healthy, alive and sane.

We just have to hope that they'd get too much bad PR if she was treated as some have been.

I hope she's alright. The odds are good she will be, I mustn't exaggerate the dangers or over-dramatise. I keep telling myself that, not to worry too much.

As you can probably tell, it's not working.

OMG, it pisses me off so much to see that douche carrying a Bible and walking around talking about how God is his shelter. One look at that tape shows you exactly how much he listens to a loving God.

But what was up with the newscaster insinuating that there shouldn't be a retrial? "Think of the costs of the first one, that's all I'll say"? Seriously? Justice comes down to a price tag now?

janice josephine carney | April 21, 2010 10:01 AM

this reminds me of the civil rights battles of the sixties. in the south no white jury would convict a white man for acts against a black man. today no "christain" southean jury will convict a fellow "chirstain" for crimes against a Transgender person.

Regan DuCasse | April 21, 2010 1:31 PM

Outrageous! Even WHEN ON VIDEO, the verdict couldn't be unanimous?!

The defense attorney called Duanna "uncooperative".
And couldn't go without mentioning her dimensions.

On video, Duanna is seated the whole time. Her hands were going up in DEFENSIVE posture as the cop was landing blows on her.

I couldn't see if Duanna was handcuffed on not.
But her position was STILL of being seated and not EXCHANGING blows.

Yeah, I'd take my information from looking at the differentiation between who was hitting who, and who was ducking from the blows from a much lower position.

Yeah, and I've seen anyone from serial killers, to baby killers bring Bibles into their court trials.

As if using such a prop is supposed to work on juries in the hope that a Christian among them will 'forgive and forget' what the defendant did.

Forgive the assailant and forget the victim is what the agenda is in this case.

And Duanna will never rest in peace because such a thing happens.