Trans Woman Eyricka King Assaulted And Denied Assistance While Held In Prison
Eyricka King, a transgender woman, had tried multiple times to get a letter out to her mother Kelly Harrison detailing her horrific experiences in prison. Her story has now gone viral after Harrison recorded a video reading from King’s letter and speaking on her daughters behalf.
“My daughter was brutally beat by officers,” Harrison ays. “I have seen it done to other transgenders in jail. . .They are beat, they are dragged out the house, thrown in the back of a van, beat again all the way to the box, denied medical treatment. . .I am not going to let this be swept underneath the rug with my daughter.”
King wrote how she had been repeatedly assaulted by both inmates and officers while in solitary confinement. She even feared being killed and having her death staged as a suicide.
“I need out of the box before it’s too late, I swear,” she wrote. “I think I might die in here, please help me.”
Out reports that this letter was King’s third attempt to reach her mother while the previous two had been torn to shreds by the guards.
“We are aware of the reported harassment toward Ms. King. The department is addressing the situation. Ms. King is not currently at Franklin Correctional Facility, and the reports are being actively investigated,” said a representative from the office of Jason Effman, Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Coordinator.
The story was soon picked up by celebrities and transgender rights activists, such as Janet Mock, who posted clips of Harrison’s video to her Instagram.
King has now been moved to protective custody after multiple pleas from the public through social media posts and petitions. She also received medical care where doctors reportedly found that one of her breast implants had ruptured during an assault. Sadly, her experience is only one of the many examples of the harm transgender people face in the U.S. justice system.