A Black Trans Woman dies on a Newark Street, Police didn’t Investigate

Newark Police didn't begin to investigate until a major news organization repeatedly asked them to do so.

Ashley Moore

Ashley Moore, 26 was found by police near death, laying on the street in front of the Newark YM/WCA on April 1, 2020. Without so much as raising finger police declared her death a suicide. They didn’t properly interview witnesses. They didn’t retrieve her phone or personal effects. They didn’t look at the video from the street she was found on, or the CCTV from the YM/WCA.

They haven’t to this day called her mother, Starlet Carbin.

Police declared her death a suicide without a coroner’s report.

Her mother found out about her death when she visited Ashley’s Facebook page to wish her a happy birthday.

To Newark police, she didn’t matter, misgendered in her obituary, to police her life didn’t matter.

A final autopsy from the New Jersey Medical Examiner’s Office, an agency notoriously slow and backlogged, has still not been finalized four months after Moore’s death, the family says. The medical examiner is awaiting the results of the toxicology report to make a final determination on the cause of death, Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose told NJ Advance Media last week.

Ambrose said Moore’s death was a suicide. But after receiving multiple follow up questions from NJ Advance Media about Moore’s case since July 31, Ambrose put out a statement Tuesday saying he reached out to the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office to ask for its Homicide Task Force to review her death.

“This unfortunate incident has officially been ruled as a suicide,” Ambrose said. “And to date, our detectives have not discovered evidence to the contrary. However, I have reached out to Essex County Prosecutor Theodore Stephens and requested a review of Ms. Moore’s death by the county’s Homicide Task Force.

“Upon completion of the Homicide Task Force’s review, we will apprise Ms. Moore’s family of the outcome of these findings.”

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office said through a spokeswoman it would look at Moore’s case.

Carbins said she believes her daughter’s injuries – a disfigured and swollen neck, ligature marks on her legs and rectal bleeding – are indications that her child had been raped.

When her mother called police they told her city cameras panned and did not show a car or the moments leading up to Moore being found on the ground outside the YM/WCA. Surveillance video from inside the building did not show Moore entering the lobby of the YM/WCA either so they surmised she went to the roof, police told her.

But Moore’s mom and advocates say a full investigation looking into all possible causes should’ve began immediately after Moore was found and not begin months after the medical examiner’s office makes a final determination.

But Moore, according to her own account, also experienced hardship.

Moore said in a 2018 Instagram post she had been mugged. She said police declined to file a report at the station and dispatch refused to send an officer after calling her homophbic slur, she said, she identified as trans female.

“We are investigating the statements made by Ashley Moore in her 2018 Instagram video,” Ambrose told NJ Advance Media. “Although we were notified of this incident today, the complaint will be handled by our Office of Professional Standards for a swift and thorough investigation of the facts.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.