Help Lee fight their case!
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47 Weeks running
On Saturday, August 12th, Chicago Police arrested Lee Dewey at the Chicago Slutwalk march. Lee, who is non-binary, is being falsely accused of biting a police officer and facing felony charges. These false charges are based on transphobia and HIV stigma.

Help Lee fight their case & transphobic police violence


What Happened at the Slutwalk Demonstration

On Saturday, August 12, 2017, Lee Dewey was exercising their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and assembly while participating in the 2017 Slutwalk Chicago march. Slutwalk’s mission is to end rape culture. Part of Slutwalk’s messaging is that perpetrators of sexual assault always bear the full responsibility for sexual violence, and that survivors are never to blame. In that spirit, Lee and many others were dressed in “revealing" outfits  as a way to reject the idea that a victim’s clothing is ever an invitation for sexual assault.


Toward the end of the march, Chicago police officers on the scene arrested three organizers and placed them in a police wagon. The dozens of remaining participants, including Lee, were waiting on the sidewalk and demanding police release their friends. Suddenly, police moved in and Lee fell to the ground. Their bicycle fell on top of them, and police piled on. While Lee was on the ground, a CPD officer stepped on Lee's head and ground it into the pavement. Lee was then arrested, handcuffed, and taken to the 18th District Police Station.


How Lee Was Treated by Chicago Police and Lee’s Charges

As a result of their rough arrest, Lee sustained several injuries, including an open cut across their thigh. At the station, Lee alerted several police officers to their cut and asked for bandages so they could tend to themselves. Out of an abundance of caution and care for the safety of everyone, Lee informed those CPD officers that they were HIV+.


After Lee shared their HIV status, they were forcibly taken to Rush Hospital—despite the fact they did not consent to or desire such medical treatment. At the hospital, Lee was confronted by a CPD officer and a medical professional who demanded that Lee consent to have their blood taken. They told Lee that a CPD officer was claiming Lee bit their ankle and that there was video footage of the incident. Lee denied then and continues to deny they bit anyone, but felt coerced to give their consent to having their blood withdrawn because of their HIV+ status.


Lee was then falsely charged with Aggravated Battery on a Police Officer for allegedly biting a Chicago Police Officer and falsely charged with Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer for attempting to bite a Chicago Police Commander.


Lee is also gender non-conforming. While in Chicago Police custody, they were repeatedly asked about their gender identity in a hostile and demeaning manner by CPD officers.


Lee was subjected to similar transphobic and hostile attitudes from Cook County Sheriff’s staff both before and during bond court the next day. In bond court, the prosecutor unnecessarily revealed Lee’s HIV+ status as a way to stigmatize Lee in front of the judge, the public, and on the court record. Lee was given a $100,000 bond that was clearly intended to keep Lee in Cook County Jail. Luckily, Chicago Community Bond Fund immediately posted the $10,000 needed to free Lee, and they were released within a few hours.


Lee is Being Punished As a Queer, Positive Person

Lee is unfortunately not the first queer  person to be falsely charged with biting a Chicago Police officer. In 1991, Gary Lawman participated in an ACT UP demonstration in Chicago during the annual convention of the American Medical Association. Gary and several other activists were brutally attacked and arrested by members of the Chicago Police Department during the protest. After Gary sustained a broken nose, a gash requiring stitches above his eye, and cracked ribs, Chicago Police Officers falsely accused him of biting a CPD officer through the plastic glove the officer he and other Officers were wearing. The Cook County States Attorney’s Office sought and then withdrew a request for a court order to withdraw Gary’s blood. Eventually, the charges were dismissed and Gary successfully sued the Chicago Police Department for his injuries.


The charges against Lee and Gary are part of a longstanding and disturbing pattern in which queer, gender non-conforming, and transgender people and people with HIV/AIDS are presumptively and falsely framed as malicious and vindictive spreaders of disease. In fact, Lee’s attorney Joey Mogul co-authored an entire book about the criminalization of LGBT people along with co-authors Andrea Ritchie and Kay Whitlock. Queer (In)Justice documents how homophobic and transphobic prejudice pervades law enforcement practice and leads to public stigmatization and false charges, prosecution, and punishment.


Lee is a Beloved Member of Many Chicago Communities

Lee is an accountant, community organizer, and beloved member of many transgender,gender non-conforming and justice-minded communities in Chicago. They give so much of their time, labor, and energy to caring for and supporting others. Lee is the lead organizer for CommunityCave Chicago , a peer-led group for individuals that were assigned/designated female at birth but who identify as trans or not cisgender to meet and build community in safe space. Lee is also the treasurer of the board of Upswing Advocates , a research-focused organization that provides mentoring and other services to LGBTQIA people, and on the community advisory board of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago . Lee also created a Gender Affirming Loans Product package at the North Side Community Federal Credit Union to help trans people pay for expenses related to surgeries, procedures, and other costs associated with their transition.


What Can Happen If Lee Is Convicted

Lee is facing a Class 2 felony aggravated battery charge. If Lee were to be wrongfully convicted of this charge, they could be sentenced to serve three to seven years in prison.


What You Can Do

We are asking you to contribute to Lee’s defense fund. Lee is being represented by Joey Mogul of People’s Law Office ( and Sara Garber of Thedford Garber Law . In order to mount an effective defense, Lee’s lawyers, legal workers, and defense team will have to attend numerous court dates, conduct an extensive investigation, and potentially hire experts to debunk the state’s so-called evidence of biting. Lee may also be forced to pay for the medical expenses incurred when Chicago Police took them to the hospital against their will.


We are also asking people call Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office and  request that her office drop the criminal charges against Lee and the other four people arrested at Slutwalk. Calls can be made to 312-603-1880.


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