PHILADELPHIA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania reacted today to the death of Sean Ryan Hake, a 23-year-old transgender man who was shot and killed by police in Sharon, Pennsylvania, on Friday. The following can be attributed to Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania.
“Our thoughts and concerns are with Sean’s family and friends at this difficult time.
“As with any officer-involved shooting, it is imperative that the Pennsylvania State Police, the Sharon Police Department, and Mercer County District Attorney Miles Karson commit to full transparency and accountability in this case. The public deserves a full accounting of how and why Sean died. This must include the release of all relevant information, including but not limited to any existing video recordings, audio recordings, and the name of the officer who felt compelled to shoot Sean.
“According to press accounts and social media comments by friends, Sean was in the midst of transitioning. The ACLU of Pennsylvania encourages anyone who reports or comments on this tragedy to recognize and respect Sean’s gender identity as a man.
“Relations between the transgender community and law enforcement have long been fraught. In the wake of Sean’s tragic death, we must insist that police and prosecutors respect transgender Pennsylvanians and work to build strong, positive relationships with the community.”