Ex-Cop Pleads Guilty to Trans Beating

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com August 29 2010 9:45 AM ET

One month before his scheduled retrial, a former Memphis, Tenn., police officer pleaded guilty to beating the late Duanna Johnson, positioning himself to receive a two-year sentence rather than the 10 years he would have faced if convicted by a jury.

According to ABC 24 in Memphis, Bridges McRae admitted to using excessive force against Johnson while booking her into the Shelby County Jail in June 2008 on a prostitution charge. The brutal beating was caught on surveillance tape.

“After watching video of the beating, all but one member of the jury wanted to convict Bridges McRae,” reports ABC 24. “His April 2010 trial ended with a hung jury. A month before McRae was set to be retried his attorney’s reached a plea deal. Will Batts, executive director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center, is happy McRae will serve time behind bars but feels two years is a light sentence. 'It’s incredibly senseless. It’s hard to imagine somebody watching that and not feeling horror.'”

Months after the beating, Johnson was shot and killed outside her home. The murder remains unsolved.

The attorney for Johnson plans to file a civil suit on behalf of her family seeking money and policy changes.

Watch the report.