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In October of 2018, Kenyairra Gadson was arrested and jailed for two years for first-degree reckless homicide. Kenyairra was protecting herself from a man from whom she suffered long-standing harassment and a group of his friends who happened to be with him that night.
Kenyairra suffered years of intimidation, harassment, being shot at and other threats of violence from this man in her community. We know that Kenyairra's gender identify and expression made her a vulnerable target. She states that she was often taunted with homophobic slurs from him. When she and her friends were attacked, she defended herself in the only way she was able.
Despite the strong case to be made for self-defense, the Madison carceral system decided that Kenyairra, a Queer Black woman fearing for her safety, was a reckless murderer, rather than a victim of escalating violence and a justice system that never intended to keep her safe. On January 26, 2022 Kenyairra was found guilty of first degree intentional homicide. She is facing up to 70 years in prison.
This fundraiser will be used to cover Kenyairra's legal fees as she fights for her freedom. It will also provide funds to support her while she survives in jail until her sentencing on May 6, 2022. Kenyairra's family has also been strongly affected by the charges and trial. They are struggling through housing insecurity. Funds raised will also be used to support her family.
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