Mesha Caldwell is 2017’s First Reported Trans Murder Victim

2016 was difficult as it became the deadliest year on record for transgender people in the United States with 27 reported victims. Nearly half of which were Black. Unfortunately, 2017 didn’t take long to show that this tragedy wasn’t left in the past.

Mesha Caldwell, a hairstylist from Mississippi was found murdered 30 miles outside of Canton on the side of the road.

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow Second Trans Woman Killed In 2017

Jamie Lee Wounded Arrow was found murdered Friday night after a neighbor noticed a “strong odor” coming from her apartment. When Sioux Falls, South Dakota police arrived, they discovered her body, according to Mic.

“Tunkasila has called another one of our community members home,” read a statement on the Sioux Falls Two-Spirit and Allies Facebook group page, which Wounded Arrow was a member of. “Our hearts are broken as we will miss her very much. So again, prayers are needed. Pilamaye.”

Goddess Diamond Is The 14th Known Trans Person Murdered in 2016

**Trigger warning: this story describes violence against a Black trans woman and her murder.**

Trans women continue to be targeted for violence, hatred, and harm in the United States. Sadly, these issues and altercations all too often end in homicide. The fourteenth known trans person was killed in New Orleans on June 9th. Her name was Goddess Diamond even though the New Orleans Advocate has reported her death while misgendering her and using her previous name.

Detroit Man Released After Serving 9 Years For Murder He Didn’t Commit

When Davontae Sanford was only 14 years old, he was sentenced to 37-to-90 years after pleading guilty to four counts of second-degree homicide in four murders. Now, nine years later at the age of 23, Sanford is being released after it was found that he inaccurately pleaded guilty following the advice of his attorney.

According to USA Today, a professional hitman Vincent Smothers confessed to those same murders, and eight others, just two weeks after Sanford’s inaccurate confession. Smothers even gave an affidavit last year repeating his claims that Sanford had no involvement in the crimes. 

Shifting the Focus From the LaQuan McDonald Murder Video and Back to the Systems That Killed Him

The Chicago Police and Mayor Rahm Emanuel want us to be calm. They want us to be quiet, hidden from plain sight. They want us pacified in the face of injustice. And, the mainstream media is great at conveying their desires.

For the past year since 17-year-old Laquan McDonald was murdered by Officer Jason Van Dyke, these institutions and political figure heads have emphasized words like “healing” and “calm” when discussing Black and brown people in Chicago without addressing the systematic targeting of Black and brown youth in the city, the hyper-policing of Black and brown neighborhoods, and the intentional disinvestment from Black and brown communities.

Fourth Black Trans Woman Killed This Year

Penny Proud

From The Advocate:

New Orleans trans advocates say they have been left stunned by the death of Penny Proud, one of their city’s young, black trans residents, the latest casualty in the ongoing national trend of antitrans violence that has seen five trans women of color killed within the first five weeks of 2015.

Proud, 21, was fatally shot multiple times at 1:30 a.m. on February 10, according to local news report from NOLA that theNational Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs has linked to Proud. Few other details are currently available, but the first press release to address the situation, from New Orleans LGBT youth of color activist group BreakOUT!, condemned NOLA’s report for misgendering Proud.

In announcing her death, BreakOUT! has urged media to cover Proud’s story, as well as those of all trans victims, with respect for her preferred identity, name, and pronoun, which also accords with journalistic standards endorsed by the Associated Press and GLAAD. The youth group had already been writing a press release concerning the recent deaths of Yazmin Vash Payne, 33, in Los Angeles; Ty Underwood, 24, in North Tyler, Texas; Lamia Beard, 30, in Norfolk, Va.; and Lamar Edwards, 20, in Lousville, Ky., when news of Proud’s murder emerged from local sources. San Francisco resident Taja DeJesus was also discovered fatally stabbed this week.

Read more at the Advocate.