Point Made: Only white cishetero people are allowed to use self-defence

In 2012, 16 year old Jorge Saavedra stabbed Dylan Nuno between eight and twelve times, killing him, after suffering years of abuse at school. The school took no action to prevent the bullying. Saavedra used Florida’s “stand your ground” law as his defence, and was deemed to have “acted reasonably” and faced no prosecution. Saavedra is white and cisgender heterosexual.

In September 2019, Abel Cedeno has been falsely convicted of manslaughter after stabbing two bullies, one of which died from the injury. Cedeno is a Person of Colour and gay. Like Saavedra, Cedeno suffered daily harassment, bullying and assault which the school did nothing to prevent, and may have even encouraged. INjustice Michael Gross, an incompetent and inept judge, refused to treat Cedeno as a child even though by law he was not a legal adult when the incident happened.  The years of bullying were the crime, not the stabbing, so Cedeno was a child.

Gross sentenced Cedeno as an adult to fourteen years in prison. It’s Cyntoia Brown all over again.

Ignoring Pleas for Leniency, Judge Sentences Gay Former Student Abel Cedeno to 14 Years for Fatal Stabbing of His Alleged Bully

Abel Cedeno, who stabbed a fellow Bronx high school student to death and seriously wounded another during a fight in September 2017 after what he said was repeated racist and homophobic bullying over his perceived sexuality, was sentenced to 14 years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of manslaughter in July. He received a second sentence of eight years for the second assault. The two will run concurrently.

Cedeno had just turned 18 when he fatally stabbed 15-year-old Matthew McCree and seriously wounded 16-year-old Ariane Laboy.

The NYT reports: “The fatal attack was the first in a New York City school in more than 20 years. It drew heightened attention because of the circumstances surrounding it. Mr. Cedeno said he had suffered years of physical and emotional abuse because he was gay and then lashed out in self-defense against students who had been afflicting him.”


  1. iordanus says

    Two sad stories, but on reading a little online about each incident I’m not sure I agree with your summation.

    Saavedra was followed after school and attacked by Nuno who was also armed with a knife. He attempted to flee before being assaulted and finally turning and fatally stabbing Nuno. It was his attempts to withdraw and Nuno’s subsequent pursuit of him which allowed the stand your ground defence.

    Cedeno took the switchblade into school and attacked two students who he himself acknowledged hadn’t bullied him. They were unarmed and did not initiate the violence, other than throwing paper and pencils which may or may not have been directed at Cedeno (seems unclear). Other students testified Cedeno started the fight and also used homophobic slurs.

    To me therefore it seems the behaviour of Saavedra and Cedeno in each incident is more of a factor than their sexuality when it comes to their sentencing.