Raqib was arrested after Shelly arranged the sting. Several hours later, he was released. He then tracked her down and, with the help of James Matthews, strangled, mutilated, burned, and dismembered her. (Both men have since pleaded guilty to murder; in court, one witness testified that the police had revealed Shelly’s identity.)
Sarah Stillman, “The Throwaways,”The New Yorker
The entire article is infuriating — it stacks up case after case of young people who were murdered after escaping jail time for very minor drug charges in exchange for acting as informants for police, who frequently seem to have coerced these teens and offered them neither protection nor training. But the story of Shelly Hilliard upsets me the most. Cops used her fear of being a transwoman in a male prison to secure her as an informant and then, as if that weren’t enough, blew her cover. Why aren’t they on the hook for her murder, too?