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Transgender NYC Woman Islan Nettles Dies after Suspected Hate Attack

Islan NettlesA transgender woman has died days after being attacked in Harlem, New York City in what police are investigating as a hate crime.

Islan Nettles, 21, was taken off life support at Harlem Hospital on Thursday after she was declared brain dead as a result of injuries suffered during the Saturday night attack.

NBC New York reports Nettles was out on Saturday with another transgender friend when they met a group of men near 148th Street and 8th Avenue. An argument broke out when the men realized the women were transgender. According to the New York Post, 20-year-old Paris Wilson, who now faces a possible murder charge, made a pass at Nettles and was shocked to learn that she was born male. Wilson, who was reportedly “humiliated in front of his crew,” then allegedly began shouting homophobic and transphobic abuse at the women. A brawl ensued, and the men overpowered Nettles and savagely pummeled her.

Although no hate crime charges have yet been filed, the Manhattan District Attorney’s hate crimes division and the New York Police Department Hate Crime Task Force are both investigating the incident.

DNAinfo reports Nettles had aspirations of making it in the fashion industry and had worked as an intern at Harlem design house Ay’Medici.

Nettles appears to be the latest victim in a string of anti-LGBT attacks in New York City this year. Last week, a gay couple was holding hands outside a Chelsea cinema when they were assaulted by six men, some of whom shouted anti-gay slurs.

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