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Nineteen Year Old Transgender Girl found dead in Atlanta

Trans woman Bonaire (Bonni) Black, 19, was found dead on December 31, 2020, under a blanket in a parking garage in midtown Atlanta, Ga. Police say that there were no signs of foul play but her friends disagree. They think her neck was broken during a fight and she was left in the garage by the assailant.

Jesse Pratt López founder of Atlanta’s Trans Housing Coalition (THC) wrote on Facebook that “Kendall “Bonaire/Bonnie” Sawyer was murdered on New Year’s Eve, just seven days before her 19th birthday. Details surrounding her death are unclear and the assailant has not been caught.

Though she went by Bonnaire/Bonnie, Kendall liked her name because it was gender-neutral. Kendall was not a THC client, but she was friends with many of the girls in our program.”

“Kendall was originally from Savannah, GA. She wasn’t accepted by all of her family and came to Atlanta when she was 17. She would sleep in tents on nature trails and was in and out of housing organizations, such as Lost N Found Youth and Covenant House. She had recently found herself back on the streets a few months ago.”

“Kendall was a very lively girl. She was an artist—a rapper, a good freestyler, and a songwriter. She had recently joined a small record label.”

Planet Trans has requested an incident report and to be notified when the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s report becomes available.

Related: Bianca “Muffin” Bankz a trans woman of color was found murdered in Atlanta on Sunday, January 17, 2021.

Project Q Atlanta which first reported on this said there were no signs of foul play, according to an incident report from Atlanta police, but people who knew Black said she was killed during an argument.

The body of Bonni Black was found on the third floor of the parking garage at the Georgian Terrace, a motel on Peachtree Street, in Midtown, according to an incident report obtained by Project Q,  An employee found her laying under a blanket with her fist clenched at about 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 31.

When a hotel manager and another employee couldn’t wake Black, they called the police. A police report described the incident as a “natural death.” Officer Sharetia Thomas, the police officer who responded to the hotel’s call, wrote in an incident report that an employee of the medical examiner called to the scene “advised me there was no foul play.”

“Bonaire “Bonnie” Black was a 19-year-old Black Girl of Trans experience taken from us on 12/31/2020,” wrote Naesm Atl. “She was a member of DaCRIBB Drop-In Center by NAESM, Inc. where she was a part of the family. Bonnie was an artist, songwriter, anime lover, makeup enthusiast, and a young girl trying to figure out her purpose in life. Her 20th birthday was 1/7/2021, so we as Community Health Outreach Workers and Mentors of Bonnie wanted to celebrate her life and her birthday with this memorial and balloon release.”

Bonaire (Bonni) Black was laid to rest on January 20, 2021, 14th transgender person murdered in the US since November 20, 2020, our last Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR).

R.I.P. Bonni Black

Kelli Busey
Kelli, Busey is managing editor at Planet Transgender