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Transgender student dies after attack in front of Harlem police station

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A 21-year-old transgender student died Thursday after being savagely beaten by a group of young men in front of a police precinct in the Harlem neighborhood in the Manhattan borough of New York.

Islan Nettles, a fashion design student at the Harlem Children's Zone Community Center, was walking down the street on the night of Aug. 16 with some friends when she was attacked, knocked to the ground and beaten until she lost consciousness, police said.

"They were called [expletive], they were called he-she's, she males, things of that nature," Nettles' mother told a local ABC affiliate.

Nettles, who was born Vaughn, fell into a coma and died Thursday after being taken off life support.

Nettles' alleged assailant, Paris Wilson, was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge and freed on $2,000 bail. On Friday, Nettles' death was ruled a murder, but Mr. Wilson has not yet been arraigned on any murder charges, Yahoo News reported. The case is being investigated by the Manhattan district attorney's hate-crimes unit.

According to the NYPD, anti-LGBT "bias crimes" have nearly doubled since this time last year in New York City, the report said.

"I don't think people should be shocked [at the death of Nettles]," said Shelby Chestnut, co-director of community organizing for the New York Anti-Violence Project. "This happens more regularly than the media reports. We see this type of violence all the time."

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