Four days ago, we reported on a transgender woman named Eyricka King, who's allegedly suffered sexual, physical and verbal abuse while in solitary confinement at the Franklin Correctional Facility. A Facebook video of her mother detailing the abuse went viral online and garnered significant support from LGBTQ advocates and allies, while Change.com petitions were created to raise awareness, and celebrities like Janet Mock spoke out in support of her.
The abuse initially came to light after King was able to get a letter to her mother detailing what had been done to her. She'd been misgendered, and beaten, all while enduring transphobic and homophobic slurs from officers and prisoners alike. Now, as national pressure builds for her release, New York's Legal Aid Society has released a statement with important details about her case, which you can read in full, below:
The Legal Aid Society issued the following statement today as defense counsel currently representing Eyricka Thompson King. The Legal Aid Society stands with our client Eyricka King, a Black transgender woman who has been experiencing transphobic violence and retaliation at Franklin Correctional Facility.
A few months ago, Ms. King reported incidents of sexual harassment and threats at Franklin Correctional Facility based on her gender identity. Recently, Ms. King was ordered to return to the same dormitory where the incarcerated male person who had sexually harassed and threatened her was housed, and was then threatened with physical violence. Instead of being protected when she refused to enter this dorm, she tells us she was assaulted, subjected to transphobic slurs, placed in a form of solitary confinement for refusing to enter the dorm, and denied medical attention for the injuries she sustained.
We immediately notified the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ("DOCCS") about the incident and are fighting to get Ms. King transferred to another facility, as it is no longer safe for her to be housed at Franklin. We are also demanding that she be given a time cut for her time in Keeplock because of the biased disciplinary action that was taken against her as a transgender woman.
"Trans women are too often subjected to sexual and physical violence when housed in male prisons and Eyricka King's case is the latest example. We demand that DOCCS take immediate action to ensure that Ms. King is not subjected to any further abuse or retaliation," said Ying-Ying Ma, Staff Attorney at The Legal Aid Society and Counsel for Eyricka King. "We will keep the community updated on her case and welcome the continued support for Ms. King at this time."