Transgender Woman Beaten to Death in Harlem

Islan Nettles was a 21-year-old aspiring fashion designer.

By Jamilah King Aug 23, 2013

Islan Nettles, a 21-year-old black transgender woman, was taken off of life support at Harlem Hospital after a savage beating left her brain dead. The attack happened last weekend by a man who reportedly shouted homophobic slurs at Nettles and her friends.

From DNAInfo:

Nettles was out with several other transgender women at 11 p.m. Saturday when she ran across a group of men near West 148th Street and Eighth Avenue, police said.

When the man realized that Nettles and her friends were transgender, they began throwing punches and yelling homophobic slurs, cops said.

Nettles, who also went by Vaughn Nettles and Alon Nettles, was taken to Harlem Hospital, but could not be revived, cops said.

A 20-year-old man, whose identity was not immediately released, was arrested in connection with the attack, police said. He was initially charged with misdemeanor assault, but cops said they expected to upgrade the charges on Friday.

According to her LinkedIn page, Nettles had dreams of becoming a fashion designer. "Fashion became a definite decision for my life after my first show with my hand designed garments in high school at the 11th grade," she wrote.