Ky Peterson

Image of Ky Peterson by movement artist Micah Bazant.


Update: In spring/summer of 2020, Ky was able to leave the transitional housing center and go home to his loved ones!

Part of Ky Peterson’s story

Ky Peterson is a black trans man from Georgia. In 2011, as he was walking home from a convenience store, a man hit him over the head and knocked him out. When he woke up he was being raped. In the midst of his struggle with his attacker, he shot and killed the man. Ky waited over a year in jail to meet with a public defender, who then only met with him twice. According to statements made by Ky’s public defender, they denied his right to plead self-defense because Ky is black and “looks stereotypically gay”. Ky was forced to sign a plea deal while on heavy mental health medications. He pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail, according to Georgia law. But Ky was sentenced to 20 years, with 15 to serve in confinement. In 2019, Ky’s release date was moved up to July 2020. He will be moved to a new facility in Fall 2019 several hours away from his family.