Some good news amidst a sea of news about the deaths of three black trans women so far this year. Monica Jones, a black trans woman who was arrested in May 2013 in Phoenix under a local law targeted at sex workers, just won an appeal of her conviction earlier this week.
The ACLU tells the story of Monica’s arrest: “When an undercover officer saw Monica Jones, a black transgender woman, walking down the street just a few blocks from her house, in an area that the officer described as being ‘known for prostitution,’ that was enough to convince him that she intended to engage in prostitution. It was on that basis that he approached and stopped her.”
Jones’ case received significant attention from activists, prompting art pieces protesting her arrest and conviction. Janet Mock was pictured wearing a “We Stand with Monica Jones” T-shirt.
On the news of her acquittal on Monday, Jones had this to say: “I am so grateful to my legal team and all of my supporters across the country and world. My conviction being vacated is important but it is a small win in our larger fight for justice. There are so many trans women and cisgender women who might be charged under this law in Phoenix and similar laws across the country. There is so much more work that needs to be done so that no one will have to face what I have no matter who they are or what past convictions they have.”