Four Years Ago, the NYPD Killed a Homeless LGBT Activist — New Yorkers Want Answers


By Jamilah King in Mic News

It’s been more than four years since Yvonne McNeil, a 57-year-old homeless lesbian activist, was fatally shot 14 times by New York police officers. But in an era of heightened discussion of police accountability, New Yorkers are still demanding answers.

On Monday night, roughly 30 activists demonstrated at Grand Central Station to raise the public’s awareness of McNeil’s case. Keegan Stephan is an organizer with a group called NYC Shut It Down, which holds public protests every Monday in New York City to bring attention to victims of police brutality.

“There was a ridiculous police narrative that she was holding two knives even though she walked with a cane and was well-known to be nonviolent,” Stephan told Mic. “We try to highlight women and people from the LGBT community [through our protests].”

McNeil was an African-American woman who was confronted by police outside of a homeless shelter where she lived on Oct. 1, 2011. Details of what followed are in dispute: Police say they opened fire after McNeil refused to drop two knives and then lunged at officers, according to a report from the New York Daily News at the time. Yvonne’s sister, Laura, said that McNeil was shot 14 times, in a video posted to Facebook.



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