A Trans Woman Was Beaten In ICE Custody Before Dying

Photo courtesy of the Transgender Law Center

According to an autopsy

DISCLAIMER: This article speaks of issues of sexual violence and transphobia. If you or someone you know has been affected by either, you can call RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or the Trans Lifeline's Peer Support Hotline at 877-565-8860.

A new report from The Daily Beast found that 33-year-old Roxsana Hernández Rodriguez, a transgender woman from Honduras who died while in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody, was beaten while there. She died on May 29 at the Cibola County Correctional Facility in New Mexico, a facility operated by one of the largest prison companies in the United States, CoreCivic.

Forensic pathologist Kris Sperry, who conducted the autopsy, found evidence that Hernández Rodriguez suffered from physical abuse while at the facility, showing "'deep bruising' on her hands and abdomen" which is "indicative of blows, and/or kicks, and possible strikes with blunt object." He also found hemorrhaging on her wrists which are "typical of handcuff injuries." On top of the apparent beating, Hernández Rodriguez was also severely dehydrated, which was the likely cause of her death.

Sperry wrote that Hernández Rodriguez suffered "severe complications of dehydration superimposed upon HIV infection," and the infection "made her susceptible to the physiologic effects of untreated dehydration." He continued, saying that she "developed severe vomiting and diarrhea," and also noted that other detainees who were with Hernández Rodriguez observed that these symptoms "persisted over multiple days with no medical evaluation or treatment, until she was gravely ill."

ICE is denying the accusations of physical abuse. Danielle Bennett, an ICE spokesperson, said in a statement that "allegations that she was abused in ICE custody are false." CoreCivic gave a similar statement.

Hernandez Rodriguez, who developed HIV after being gang-raped by four MS-13 members during her walk home one day, spoke with BuzzFeed News before her death about why she was seeking asylum in America. "Trans people in my neighborhood are killed and chopped into pieces, then dumped inside potato bags," she said. "I didn't want to come to Mexico—I wanted to stay in Honduras but I couldn't…They kill trans people in Honduras. I'm scared of that."

Photo courtesy of Balenciaga / Photo via @McDonaldsSverige Instagram

I'm cackling

Last year, Balenciaga released bright red square-toed mules which bore a striking resemblance to McDonald's french fry cartons. Now, the chain has fired back at the designer, threatening to release its own version of the shoes.

McDonald's Sweden posted a photo to its Instagram of a person wearing actual McDonald's fry cartons as shoes, and honestly, if there weren't yellow M's printed onto them, I'd have a hard time distinguishing them from the Balenciagas from a distance. Though the post doesn't directly reference the Balenciaga shoes, one can only assume that's who they are trolling.

McDonald's version actually makes for some pretty fly slip-ons, if you ask me. Good thing the Swedish branch of Mickey D's seems to be considering releasing the shoes if the post receives enough attention. The caption of the Instagram post translates to, "If we get 103042 likes we release these for real," though it only has about 17,000 as of publish time. These would likely cost much less than the Balenciaga shoes, which cost $545.

Internet, do your thing. I want a pair.



Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.