Justice Denied for Terrence Sterling

The fight for Black lives is inseparable from the fight for trans and queer liberation.

WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, August 9, a grand jury declined to file criminal charges against MPD Officer Brian Trainer for the fatal shooting of Terrence Sterling last fall. No Justice No Pride (NJNP), a local coalition of trans and queer organizers and activists formed to challenge DC’s LGBT community’s silence regarding police violence, white supremacy, and other forms of systemic oppression, released the following statement in response:

“That no one in the Metropolitan Police Department will be held accountable for the murder of Terrence Sterling is a tragic reminder of MPD’s systemic failure to ‘protect and serve.’ Just like in Charlotte, Baton Rouge, Tulsa, New York City, Chicago, and Ferguson — where locals today mourn the three year anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown — and cities across the country, DC police officers are given the unjust power to take Black lives with impunity.

As trans and queer individuals, we recognize that the fight for Black lives is inseparable from the fight for trans and queer liberation — that MPD’s unjust killing of Terrence Sterling is inseparable from MPD’s daily harassment and abuse of trans women of color, and other marginalized members of the trans and queer community.

In June, many members of the LGBT community and their allies expressed outrage when NJNP made clear our desire to see police officers removed from the Capital Pride Parade. Today, we ask those individuals to revisit that outrage and to ask themselves why the LGBT community should blindly support an institution that takes the lives of Black DC residents and refuses to face accountability for committing extrajudicial murders and other forms of brutality.

Our hearts are with the family of Terrence Sterling and the DC residents who have been tirelessly fighting for justice in his name.”


No Justice No Pride is an ad-hoc collective of organizers and activists from across the District of Columbia. We exist to end the LGBT movement’s complicity with systems of oppression that further marginalize queer and trans individuals. Our members are black, brown, queer, trans, gender nonconforming, bisexual, indigenous, two-spirit, formerly incarcerated, disabled, white allies and together we recognize that there can be no pride for some of us without liberation for all of us.