trans justice

Is This the Testiomy That Will Put Dwayne Johnson’s Prison Officer Attacker Behind Bars?

So this is some pretty damning testimony in the late Dwayne Johnson’s federal trial against a prison officer. “Testifying for the prosecution, James Swain said he watched officer Bridges ‘Sutton’ McRae use his metal handcuffs like brass knuckles to punch the prisoner several times in the head in the sally port of the jail. McRae, who was fired, is charged with civil rights violations. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. Swain said the incident began when the prisoner, Dwayne Johnson, refused to be fingerprinted unless McRae called him by his feminine name, Duanna. ‘McRae kept hitting Johnson multiple times in the head,’ said Swain, a probationary officer released by the department. ‘Johnson was bleeding profusely from the head. It was a beatdown. It never should have happened. … (McRae) walked by and said ‘I love to fight.’ He was very aggressive and had his chest puffed out. I was speechless.’” (Johnson, pictured, died in November from an unrelated gunshot wound.) [Commercial Appeal]

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  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    I love to fight.

    Let’s see how much fighting he does behind bars.

  • Dee

    Why do you insist on calling her by her birth name? wtf Queerty her name is Duanna

  • gina

    Yeah, great, the author is pretty much doing the same thing as the sadistic cop did… only this time she’s being called her assigned birth when she can’t even protest it. Really classy reporting.

  • Karinne

    How ridiculous. This witness cut a deal with prosecutors, so he has every reason to sing whatever song they want him to sing. We don’t know what really happened so we shouldn’t rush to support a convict just b/c that convict was “trans”. Also, regardless of whether you believe the CO’s story or this witness, what the held does any of this have to do with gay people?

    The more you read the “trans” posts that continue to show up on Queerty, the more obvious it becomes that gay people have very little in common with “Ts” and that lumping us together was not only a mistake, but an insult.

  • Karinne

    @ Gina and Dee:

    In prison you don’t get to tell the COs what name to use for you. Your name is in the BOP database and that’s that. If you want to have the freedom to change your name, don’t commit crimes and get sent to prison.

    Obviously, this dispute wouldn’t justify excessive force by the CO if that is what really happened, but both the CO and Queerty are right to use the legal name of the deceased at the time of death.

  • gina


    What does prison have to do with it? This wasn’t prison. Duanna was also upset because, as the testimony said, she was called “fag” and “he/she” by Officer McRae before fingerprinting her. Btw, the charges of “prostitution” against her were totally dropped and said to be unfounded. She was a sexworker, but wasn’t soliciting at the time she was arrested.

    I don’t get it… Lady Gaga is called Lady Gaga on here, not Stefani Germanotta, and that’s her ‘real’ legal name. Ricky Martin’s legal name is Enrique Morales, but they call him Ricky Martin on Queerty.

  • FoolMe1


    Without Trans women, you gay boys would have nothing. No history, no cultural context, no spirituality – nothing more than some probably bisexual guys before the industrial revolution. You need us way more than we need you.

    To the story… my GD Faux News affiliate got her name, gender, and pronouns right. — FOX NEWS —

    Even our dead are maligned by gay men who stalled and hijacked our political movement, used our dead and unemployed to pass gay/lesbian only legislation, and ultimately gave us a raw deal.

    Good work QWERTY – keep it classy

  • Karinne


    Are we reading the same article? The alleged beatdown took place in prison. The deceased was a prisoner in custody. As the post above indicates, the fight was about whether the CO would use her legal name or her made up name:

    “Swain said the incident began when the prisoner, Dwayne Johnson, refused to be fingerprinted unless McRae called him by his feminine name, Duanna.”

    Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin, Madonna, and anyone else can call themselves whatever they want. If they find themselves in prison, they will be booked under their legal name. If this is upsetting, the best bet is to not get yourself booked into prison.

  • Karinne


    “Even our dead are maligned by gay men who stalled and hijacked our political movement, used our dead and unemployed to pass gay/lesbian only legislation, and ultimately gave us a raw deal.”

    You’re right! We hijacked your movement and you don’t need us as much as we need you! It’s a raw deal!

    So let’s end this ridiculous LGBT concept and get on with our respective lives. I am pretty sure that gay people can find spirituality without worshipping a group of unstable people with no respect for civil liberties, many with criminal backgrounds, and one-third of whom die from suicide.

  • FoolMe1


    Gina’s point passed you right by… try to read.. slowly. I know you can do it. Now, go cut some hair or decorate a house or something like that.

    Now on to history – It’s pretty self serving for your folks to plunder a rich history of trans people, call them “gay men”, use them to prove “gays have been in all places and times”. To pad your unemployment stats (after making sure trans people get left out of job protections) to fluff your hate crimes and murders for legislation that more often than not specifically did not include the most at risk population. Then after you gutted our movement ask us to leave.

    Trans people had the laws in place to change birth records, we were working to make thing safer for transitioning people to be included and protected. Then we hooked up with gay men, put our needs after “the movement” and even helped jump start the modern gay rights movement.

    Because we are linked with gay men, who even “liberals” think are a little “icky” when we talk about the sex part (and face it that’s what it’s about for them) we lost our momentum. Our legal protections are now under attack. Thank boys, maybe when you grow up you will have a political movement without plundering Feminism and Trans people.

    BTW – I fully support gay rights, because it’s the right thing to do. Guess I’m better than you.

  • gina


    This did NOT occur in prison. She was NOT in prison. She was busted for prostitution (which, again, was dropped… and not just because of the beating, there was zero evidence), she was at the police station being fingerprinted when this “event” started. There was/is no prison involved, nor was she convicted (or even tried) for anything. The officer being tried was ragging on her and calling her fag and he/she pretty much from the time she came into the station.

    Believe it or not, but many African-American trans women get busted for prostitution every day whether they’re actively involved in it or not (some are, some aren’t) I don’t know where you’re getting these assumptions from, but I’ve been following this case for over 2 years and have read dozens of news accounts of it.

    Every time I come over to Queerty and read the snarky comments I have qualms about LGBT ever working, but I disagree that without trans people gay men would have nothing. There are lots of gay men who’ve put their lives on the line for their own rights too. Let’s not paint with a broad brush.

  • Karinne

    @ Gina:

    She was in police custody, being fingerprinted on her way to jail. The article to which this post links describes her as a prisoner b/c that is what she was. I will concede that she was off to a jail cell, not a prison cell. But for the purposes of this discussion, it is irrelevant. When you are being booked into jail or prison, you are going to be addressed by your legal name. Whether she was innocent or guilty of prostitution is also irrelevant. That was for a jury to decide later. When in custody, she needed to adhere to the rules of the institution.

    @ FoolMe1:

    I am a lesbian, so your anti-gay male jokes don’t really mean anything to me, except to show the innate hostility of a trannie.

    Obviously, nothing you assert about the “benefits” to gay people stemming from their association with a mentally ill population is accurate. Gay people have been in all places in all countries and at all times. Gay people. Not trannies. Not cross-dressers. Not hermaphrodites. We don’t need to rely on circus performers in order to establish our place in history.

    Ditto for the other statistical data. We don’t need to “boost” any data by relying on a statistically insignificant population of mentally ill people. Most trans people are straight, so it would be completely inaccurate to include them in stats about gay people.

    Since you were making such great progress before you hooked up w/ us, I really do hope that you will persuade your fellow trannies to return to those days of yesteryear, when you were about to rule the world. Don’t let us slow you all down. Please, just go! Take your dresses and your hormones and your surgeries and your Buffalo Bill persona and your mental illness and your disregard for civil liberties and just go.

  • gina

    The “rules” do not include being called a “fag” or a “he/she” by cops or anyone else. The story shown here neglects to mention all the other verbal abuse he heaped on her before the beating. Jury?… she never went to trial. They had no charges on which to hold her. Weird, huh, a black person getting busted for… being black.

    I find it interesting the extent to which you’re able to excuse extreme police brutality. I wonder if you’d feel the same if she were a non-trans woman who had the same complexion as you?

    Princess, what country do you think you live in? You better hope some cop doesn’t like the look of your lesbian ass and haul you in and start abusing you. Like it or not, the district attorney of Memphis found this case worthy of going to trial (unlike what Ms. Johnson was busted for). Period. And the evidence against him is pretty overwhelming. You’re just some anonymous person sitting in front of her computer, not dealing with issues of transphobia and racism in the real world

  • gina

    Btw, before we were derailed, the issue at hand was why the person who wrote this article called Duanna Johnson ‘Dwayne’. Since Queerty doesn’t seem to have a policy of calling people by their legal names, why was Ms. Johnson disrespected in this way? Every newspaper in Memphis has seen fit to refer to a deceased person by the name she went by in life, why is it a supposedly queer-positive site can’t see fit to do the same?

  • FoolMe1

    Interesting that the linked article has a more nuanced and respectful discussion of Ms Johnson and the case. Like I said – keep it classy Qwerty.

  • jay

    The use of the birth name can’t really be construed as anything but a pointed dig at a trans woman who fucking DIED VIOLENTLY because she was a trans woman.
    Class move queerty. Please correct this name.

  • Jadis

    Karinne, you’re right. I’ve had it with “LGBT.” You fags and dykes hate us, you always have and you always will. There is nothing too low for you, nothing too spiteful.

    I spent lots of my time advocating for gay marriage (which you GOT in 2005), it seems I wasted my time on a hostile group. Fuck you. Fuck you all.

    All that “LGBT” has accomplished for us is getting us on the radar of the homophobes like LaBarbara, as well as solipsistic assholes like you.

    Die in a fire, please.

  • FoolMe1

    still no correct reporting – either this is extremely lazy writing or intentional. Either way – Qwerty shows neither solidarity with trans people nor good reporting (again)

  • Nezumi

    @Karinne: You are truly a repulsive person. I hope to never see you again, and your attitudes make me reluctant to even consider entering this community more than I have by posting this.

    @FoolMe1: You’re not really any better. Slandering gays is no better than slandering transsexuals. At least you weren’t quite so virulent about it.

    @OP: Using the decedent’s birth name and pronouns in a report on them in a GLBT forum is just stupid and classless. There’s no two ways about it. All other reports I’ve found use Duanna and the feminine pronouns, so why can’t you? The whole bit about them being a “prisoner” that Karinne was going on about doesn’t make sense — the policy of the criminal justice system has no bearing on what termsyou use when reporting on it.

  • Taylor Siluwé

    @ Karinne:
    The officer in question was fired. FIRED. Obviously Duanna’s insistence on not being called “Dwayne” was NOT justification to deliver a beat-down.

    The gay vs trans hate going on here is truly disturbing. No wonder we a group have yet to achieve full equality because we’re too busy squabbling amongst ourselves.

    Truly sad.

Comments are closed.