Keke Collier, a 24-year-old black, transgender woman, was shot and killed in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, according to Mic. After being misgendered by local media, Collier’s identity was later confirmed by friends, such as Shasha Lauren.
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 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.”
**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.
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.
In 48 hours, two transgender women have been killed in the United States. It’s time to address transphobia and the violence surrounding it in this country and all over the world.