Cooper Administration Promises Aid to Transgender ‘Woman’ Housed in Men’s Prison

HARNETT COUNTY – The administration of Governor Roy Cooper is responding to calls from transgender activists regarding which prison a habitual felon is being housed in.

Kanautica Zayre-Brown is a biological male that identifies as a female. Zayre-Brown went to prison in 2017 for multiple counts of insurance fraud and obtaining property by false pretenses, but activists are now challenging Cooper to have Zayre-Brown relocated to a women’s prison facility.

From News & Observer:

“A transgender woman being held in a men’s prison will get assistance from N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper, who will work to improve the safety of her confinement and make sure it “never happens again,” an aide said Friday.

More than a dozen advocates gathered at Cooper’s office at the Capitol on Friday demanding that Kanautica Zayre-Brown be transferred to a women’s prison. They expressed outrage that she had been placed in solitary confinement at Harnett Correctional in Lillington for nearly a week since her story gained more media attention.

Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Pam Walker clarified Friday that Zayre-Brown has been placed in restrictive housing, a single cell rather than the usual dormitory style, but for disciplinary reasons that are unresolved. […]

The ACLU of North Carolina has written Director of Prisons Kenneth Lassiter requesting a transfer and promising legal action if the state does not respond by April 1.

“Kanautica Zayre-Brown is a woman,” ACLU attorney Sneha Shah said at the Capitol on Friday. “She is a woman who has spoken to me personally about the fear she feels everyday. … Transfer Kanautica now, give her the medical treatment that is necessary or we will see you in court.””

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Zayre-Brown has been sentenced to nearly 10 years in prison. Despite the “fear” her advocates have, Zayre-Brown has not been assaulted; has not been thrown in solitary; has not been mistreated in any way. Actually, the move to a single cell room addresses complaints that Zayre-Brown must bunk with other males.

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The medical treatment the advocates are demanding the state provide are continued hormone treatments. Is that something taxpayers should be footing the bill for? Cooper apparently thinks so, as he is promising to use his position to come to Zayre-Brown’s rescue.

Read more about Zayre-Brown and her social justice warrior brigade at the New & Observer here.

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