Trans Man With Asperger’s Shot Dead By Police, Media Misgenders & Deadnames

Kayden Clarke

A transgender man with Asperger’s, who became incredibly well known through the Internet after a touching video of him with his service dog last year, has been shot and killed by police officers in Arizona.

Kayden Clarke, 24 years old, was shot by police officers and later died in hospital after officer were called to his residence for a suicide call.

According to reports on AZFamily, where they misgender and incorrectly name Kayden, police entered his home and found him with a knife.  Kayden told police that he had a knife and was going to hurt himself.  Police drew their firearms and shot him.

In a statement from Detective Esteban Flores, he said (I apologise in advance, but during this statement Flores repeatedly misgenders Kayden) ‘She had one knife that we know of, she had something else we’re not sure what it was.  The officer said it was dark inside the room.  When she made contact with them she approached them with the knife, extended it out, and they felt threatened.’

Kayden gained attention last year when he posted a video where he tried to punch himself whilst having an emotional moment and his Rottweiler, Samson, comforts him and stops him from hurting himself.
The video went viral, and Kayden even spoke about the incident and living with Asperger’s to The Huffington Post, where he was also misgendered.  Kayden posted frequently about living with Asperger’s, as well as posting several videos about his transition.
Kaydens death has been reported on by several websites, but each and every one of them has misgendered him and used the incorrect name.
Kayden was an amazing individual, who tried to shine a light on the struggles that people living with Asperger’s face, and he has been shown nothing but disrespect from every single person who has shown no respect for his gender or his identity.
To call Kayden anything other than Kayden, or to refer to him as female spits in the face of his memory, it shows disrespect and it should be called out whenever it is seen.  It’s a horrible, disrespectful thing to do and it disgusts me.
As of the moment the officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.  Unfortunately they were not wearing body cameras, so we cannot know exactly what happened in Kayden’s home, but from all reports it would appear that police officers attended a call for help from someone who was suicidal, someone who made them aware that they had a knife when they arrived and indicated that he only wanted to hurt himself.  In response those police officers shot and killed him.  To me, that sounds like murder.
I’m sure that there will be an investigation into these events, and I hope that the truth comes out and that people face the justice that they deserve, unfortunately people can’t even show Kayden enough respect to use the correct name and pronouns, so that kind of justice will probably never come.
Rest in peace Kayden.
#HisNameWasKayden  #RIPKaydenClarke

Amy is a journalist and editor contributing the websites Planet Transgender, Gay News Network, The Bottle Episode, The Retro Box and Claire Channel. Amy is also a published comic book writer and letterer.

In addition to her writing Amy has also worked with the Centre For Hate Crime Studies in Leicester and has worked in the capacity of an advisor to the United Nations Entity For Gender Equality and The Empowerment of Women.

27 Responses to Trans Man With Asperger’s Shot Dead By Police, Media Misgenders & Deadnames

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