Three transgender woman of color have been murdered in April alone. “Enough is enough” says Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) in a joint press release with The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs:
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) is deeply concerned of three unsolved homicides of transgender women of color that occurred during the month of April in 2013, which continues a trend of murders of transgender and gender non-conforming women and people of color in the past few years. On Wednesday, April 3rd, Kelly Young, a 29-year-old black transgender woman, was found shot to death inside a home in Baltimore, Maryland. Then on Thursday, April 4th, 30-year-old Ashley Sinclair, a black transgender woman, was found shot to death in a wooded area in the Oak Ridge section of Orange County, Florida. And on April 30, another young black transgender woman, Cemia Dove, also known as Ci Ci was found on April 17 in a retention pond in Olmsted Township, Ohio. Dove, a 20-year-old woman, had multiple stab wounds, was tied to a concrete block, and was found naked from the waist down. As of April 30th, all three of these homicides remain unsolved.
At issue is also the media’s horrific reporting of Ce ce Dove in Ohio and there dismissive attitude to local LGBT groups concerns:
The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO), an NCAVP member organization that works to end LGBTQ-related violence and homicide, has issued a press release about Dove’s murder, but media failed to pick up the story. “BRAVO is saddened to learn of the most recent hate crime murder, and outraged at the media’s flagrant disregard for human dignity,” said Gloria McCauley, Executive Director of BRAVO, “Every homicide deserves to be investigated and all possible leads followed so that we can understand what the cause of the homicide was. This is particularly true when the homicide involves a community that we know is at a higher risk of bias-related homicides such as transgender women of color.”
Three unsolved homicides within one month should elicit a national outcry,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Executive Director and CEO at NBJC. “We need to hold our law enforcement officials accountable at every level–from local police departments that need to work tirelessly to find these killers and bring them to justice, to federal agencies such as the Department of Justice that should create a national task force to address the serial killings of Black trans women in this nation. How many more lives must be lost before we take serious action to stop this madness?”