On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Chanel Hines was shot three times in the chest and hospitalized by Jeff Smith, her parole officer.
Early media reports on the situation, and the official Ontario County Sheriff report both misgendered Hines, who is a trans woman.
In the report, the Ontario County Sheriff’s office stated that Chanel Hines (referring to her by the wrong name, and using male pronouns) had attempted to run down her parole officer Smith, which resulted in Smith firing his weapon seven times, hitting Hines three times.
Hines is accused of violating parole by stealing a bottle of liquor.
According to Bonnemere, Hines, who was taken to Strong Memorial Hospital and is stable, is being denied basic rights: For the first 10 days of her hospitalization, Hines was denied any form of contact from friends and family outside of one five-minute call.
“They told me she was out of surgery and that the NYS division of parole had blocked all access, so I could not have a phone call, I would not be granted, she was in ICU, […] I could not send a letter or a card,” Bonnemere said in a video.
Before the sole five-minute phone call Hines was granted with her mother, Bonnemere said she was told to “not ask her what happened or you’ll be disconnected,” as she was “on speakerphone.” While she was speaking with her daughter, Bonnemere said that “[Hines] asked me why he shot her.”
In addition, when Hines was allowed to meet with her attorney, two parole officers remained in the room during the interview. “Whatever happened to attorney-client privilege?” Bonnemere said. “Where’s our justice?”
Members of a community activist group known as L.A.B.L. – otherwise known as Liberate All Black Lives – protested outside the Public Safety Building on Nov. 12, demanding that Bonnemere be granted access to her daughter. Many of the chants that night referenced violence against trans people across America. For example, according to various studies, trans people face a suicide rate between 14 and 22 times higher than cisgender people.
The organizers also touched on statistics surrounding Rochester’s recent history of crime, connecting a lack of violent crime to the Black Lives Matter movement and questioning the role of police in Rochester.
“From Oct. 7 all the way back in 2011, there’s been a grand total of 100,657 crimes reported,” Shango said. “In the past 9 years, 0.3% of crimes in Rochester have been a murder […] 0% of crimes have been manslaughter, there’s been one manslaughter in the past 9 years, 5.9% of crime has been motor vehicle theft.”
In addition, 84.1% of crimes were property crimes which led the Rochester Police Department to spend “100 million dollars for policing property crime,” according to Shango.
“The police are obsolete,” he said. “Imagine getting paid 100,000 dollars to fix a fucking barricade; imagine accepting 100,000 dollars to brutalize people.”
These statistics match ones reported by the RPD Open Data Portal, a database of information compiled by Rochester Police Forces. The remaining 9.7% of crimes are composed primarily of aggravated assaults.
After the protest was called for the night, L.A.B.L. stepped aside to share a few messages with the press:
“Protect our Black trans women.”
“We want Chanel Hines free, we want [ Smith] arrested, we want the transphobic media to stop misgendering her: Chanel Hines.”
The next day, following another protest outside Strong Hospital, Bonnemere was granted access to call her daughter for 30 minutes per day, but protests are planned to continue until significant reform is made in Rochester.