Survived & Punished: Meet Tracy McCarter, a Nurse Jailed, Then Cleared, for Stabbing Abusive Husband
Written by GRB on 02/10/2023
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and we look at how Black and Brown survivors of domestic abuse are further criminalized by police and prisons — and how activists have been organizing to win their freedom. In her first broadcast interview, we speak with Tracy McCarter, a nurse and grandmother who was jailed after her abusive husband, a white man, died of a stab wound when she defended herself during an altercation. McCarter, who is Black, describes being a criminalized survivor of both domestic violence and the criminal legal system. She was held at the notorious Rikers jail for nearly seven months and had her murder charges dropped in November after a campaign led by the grassroots abolitionist organization Survived and Punished. This comes as one-third of women imprisoned in New York for homicide were abused by the person they killed. “It became clear to me that I wasn’t going to be considered a person whose life was important enough to defend,” says McCarter, a registered nurse and graduate student at the time of her arrest, who shares her story and explains how racism affected her case. We also speak with Brooklyn College law professor Jocelyn Simonson, a member of the “I Stand With Tracy” solidarity campaign and author of the new book, Radical Acts of Justice: How Ordinary People Are Dismantling Incarceration.