Yvonne McNeal, 57

New York, New York
October 07, 2011

Agencies: New York Police Department NYPD

Cause of death: Shooting

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Last updated: about 3 years ago


Police opened fire, killing 57-year-old homeless lesbian woman, Yvonne McNeal, after she refused to drop a pair of knives reports NY1.com. The incident took place in front of New Providence Women’s Shelter, a center for homeless women suffering from mental illness or addictions, on Sunday at 8:30pm.

Police say they shot McNeal after she refused to put down her weapons. She was pronounced dead upon arrival at Bellevue Hospital.

Those who knew McNeal were shocked by the altercation.

“She never bothered nobody. But she had an argument when I went to the movies. I saw her arguing earlier on 43rd Street with her girlfriend, on the phone,” a local told NY1, adding, “And when I came back from the movie theater, she told me that they shot her and everything. So I was like, ‘What the hell is going on?’”

Another resident said, “She never bothered nobody. She never talked to nobody. She stayed all to herself, she’d speak and that was it. So I was surprised that it was her.”

Others in the community are questioning whether the NYPD’s use of deadly force was warranted.

The group Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), which McNeal was a member of, released a statement saying they are “shocked and outraged” by the shooting.

The group also noted that in a report released last year in conjunction with the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, it was found that “19 percent of 171 low income LGBTGNC survey responders in NYC had been physically assaulted in the past two years [after calling or interacting with the police]... Among those who were currently homeless, the number jumps to 24 percent.”