The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported that 23-year-old CeCe McDonald was sentenced June 4, 2012 to three years and five months in prison for the death of Dean Schmitz, a white Neo-Nazi.
McDonald was walking past a Minnesota bar on June 5, 2011 when an altercation between her and Schmitz, in addition to other patrons, erupted on the sidewalk outside. According to various reports, McDonald pulled out a pair of scissors in a clear self-defense attempt after the group hurled a glass at her face, resulting in a gash that required 11 stitches: far more than the two Band-Aids George Zimmerman received for his injuries. The Neo-Nazis targeted McDonald with both anti-homosexual and racist epithets, including “fagg_ts,” “n_ggers” and “chicks with d_cks.”
Schmitz, who had a swastika tattoo died at the scene from the self-defense stab wound to his chest. Minneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon is among those to defend McDonald, saying she was targeted for her race and transgender identity. “It appears that CeCe was the victim of a hate crime that involved many people but she was the only person held by the police,” Gordon wrote on his blog. “Here is another example transgender women of color being targeted for hate- and bias-related violence. It is unfortunate that in this case, as in so many, the hate crime itself appears to have been ignored.”
Melanie Williams, columnist for the Minnesota Daily, felt similarly. “[Schmitz’s] attack, therefore, was not just a random attack on one person’s body, but an attack on an entire race and entire gender,” she wrote. “An entire population of living, breathing, feeling people are hurting with McDonald, perhaps not physically but in the core of who they are.”