CeCe McDonald to speak at the Capitol alongside battered women's groups

Categories: Crime, GLBT
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CeCe Mcdonald will speak in St. Paul Wednesday
CeCe McDonald, the cause célèbre of the transgender movement, is scheduled to speak Wednesday at a noon rally in the State Capitol rotunda.

Earlier this year, McDonald walked out of an all-male correctional facility in St. Cloud, where, despite the concerns of her attorneys, she served 19 months of a 41-month sentence. In 2012, McDonald pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter after fatally stabbing Dean Schmitz in a street fight.

See also:
CeCe McDonald murder trial


McDonald argued she had been defending herself from a racist and transphobic hate crime. The actor Laverne Cox, best known for her role on the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, is working on a documentary about the case.

"Cece's experience as a survivor shows how safety is a foundation of every issue," says Rebekah Moses, program manager for the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women, which organized the upcoming rally. "When people are denied basic human rights, their safety is not recognized."

The coalition and their legislative allies are pushing two pieces of legislation currently up for discussion.

The first proposal would extend the window in which cops can arrest people who've been accused of misdemeanor domestic assault but fled the scene from 24 to 72 hours. Supporters argue that, especially in rural jurisdictions and on weekends -- when it's hard to get a warrant from a judge -- someone can evade arrest by simply hiding out for a day.

"We think it will help victims and save lives," says Rep. Paul Rosenthal (DFL-Edina) who pushed previous legislation extending the arrest window from 12 to 24 hours. "Initially it worked, but it needed to be updated because people caught on."

The second proposal would alert victims where their abuser has been released from jail. This detail is withheld in most instances.

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Rep. Dan Schoen
"Domestic violence is certainly one of the biggest things we deal with," says Rep. Dan Schoen (DFL-St. Paul Park), a sponsor on both bills. "It's just a troubling trend."

Although the proposals are moving through the committee level without much resistance, some legislators have voiced concern that giving out an offender's whereabouts could violate their privacy. Schoen disagrees and notes that those who are incarcerated for domestic violence are often repeat offenders. Knowing where they're being released from helps the victim prepare in case that person shows back up in their life.

"This is really about safety," says Schoen, who also serves as a police officer in Cottage Grove. "One thing we know about domestic violence is that the offenders certainly don't forget."

McDonald will also be joined by Liz Kuoppala of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless and CeCe Terlouw of the Heartland Girls Ranch. Organizers plan to give special recognition to Rep. Michael Paymar (DFL-St. Paul), who's stepping down in a few weeks after years of supporting legislation proposed by battered women's groups.

A candlelight vigil for victims of human trafficking is also scheduled for Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol.

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to jmarx@citypages.com
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10 comments
John Bunch
John Bunch

She got 19 months for stabbing someone to death on the street? Wow. Interesting.

Doug Mulville
Doug Mulville

Isn't the "hero" bastardization what I was saying in the first place? I don't see CeCe as a hero or a villain. Just a survivor, like so many...That there are many more qualified to lead these rallies than a convicted killer, regardless of circumstance was sort of my point.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

My entire point was the bastardization of the word hero. I used soldiers as a metaphor because they have a license to murder innocent people every day while "protecting" our freedom. I'm not in disagreement with you that yes, we do need better people in leadership and spokesperson roles. All I'm saying is there is nothing wrong with a little vigilante justice once in a while.

jherlitz
jherlitz

How unfortunate that these groups have decided to use a murderer as a speaker. Lets all try and remember that McDonald could have walked away from that fight. McDonald chose to engage the asshole running his mouth. Thats the dirty little secret. That goof could still be alive and McDonald would not have spent any time in jail and prison. Lets stop making a hero out of a killer.

Doug Mulville
Doug Mulville

Where did you get that soldiers crap? I know alot of reprehensible people that by all rights should get their comeuppance. would it be ok for me to lure them out, kill them, and then be glorified as a hero? NO. "Hero" and other such words are so overused that they have lost all the meaning they are meant to have. Just because I disagree with this (respectfully I might add) does not take away my support for GLBT causes. I just think EVERY cause needs to get better people in the leadership roles and as spokespeople.

Eric Shawn Smith
Eric Shawn Smith

Hopefully, Doug, "we" will never be in that situation. One less bigot on the street as far as I am concerned. But it's ok to call US Soldiers Heroes. right?

Doug Mulville
Doug Mulville

If only we could all murder a reprehensible jerk and make ourselves into a "hero" for it. I have nothing against CeCe but really? I find it hard to believe that any group can't find a better spokesperson than this. While her story is compelling it is not heroic or any of the other superlatives being used to describe it.

Mercedes Amador
Mercedes Amador

She spoke at the U's Transgender Commission Celebration! What an honor it was to hear her speak.

_Joe_
_Joe_

 " ...have a license to murder innocent people every day"

"nothing wrong with a little vigilante justice..."

Um... ...  ...  what?

Do you even know what you're talking about?  Because I can't follow.


sosmpls
sosmpls

"Honor?" I'd say you should have your head examined, preferably by a veterinarian!

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