Rosendall to Williams and Ferren: drop Hunter appeal

Rosendall to Williams & Ferren: drop Hunter appeal

Tuesday, December 29, 1998

Mayor-Elect Anthony Williams
1730 K Street, NW, Suite 202
Washington, DC 20006

Judge John M. Ferren
Corporation Counsel for the District of Columbia
441 4th Street, NW, Suite 1060
Washington, D.C. 20001

Dear Mayor-Elect Williams and Judge Ferren:

I am writing to urge that you drop any plans by the District to appeal the recent jury verdict in Margie Hunter v. District of Columbia, et al. (Civil Action 96-1338), in which Margie Hunter was awarded a total of $2,874,060. The case involved the wrongful death of transgendered citizen Tyra Hunter in 1995 following a traffic accident when D.C. Fire Department rescue workers withheld proper and timely emergency treatment from her because of their own prejudices.

As GLAA has been saying of the Hunter case for the past three years, most recently in GLAA's policy document, Agenda: 1998, "The Fire Department's mishandling of this case undermined the entire community's confidence in the Department's fairness and competence."

It is time for the District to stop defending what a duly empaneled jury has recognized is indefensible. The city should move on and spend any further resources on ensuring that District citizens are never again treated as less than human because of their appearance.

For more than three years Tyra Hunter's cry for justice has continued to haunt us. It is time to let her spirit rest in peace, to give her mother Margie some rest after a long fight for justice, and to begin restoring trust between our citizens and those sworn to protect them. Let the new Williams era begin on a healing note by ending the Hunter case now, with Margie Hunter's victory.


Richard J. Rosendall
Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington

cc: Max Brown

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