A month after the shooting death of Bree Black, a Black transgender woman from Pompano Beach, authorities have increased the reward to $8,000 for information leading to the arrest of her killer.
The Florida Sheriffs Association Criminal Apprehension Assistance Program put forward an additional $5,000 to the original $3,000 offer by Broward Crime Stoppers.
The announcement came on the heels of a press conference hosted by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Tuesday, where Sheriff Gregory Tony said that after a month they have very little information on Black’s death.
“This incident took place reportedly where a large volume of people were in the community,” he said. “However, [after] weeks spent on this investigation, we have not received any type of information from the community. No calls, no tips, no support in this particular investigation.”
Black was shot and killed close to her home on the evening of July 3. Due to the holiday weekend, many people were outside in the neighborhood and by the time police arrived, hundreds had congregated in the area.
Tony said that it is not unusual for the public to be hesitant to come forward during a homicide investigation. He also noted that law enforcement would like to find out if her death was the result of a hate crime.
“Like any homicide that occurs in this community, it is our responsibility to investigate these things though,” he said. “However, we can’t lose focus on the fact that in the U.S., the transgender community is targeted and discriminated against and we would like to get to a conclusion to understand whether or not this was a matter of a hate crime.”
Nik Harris, the LGBTQ consumer advocate to Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, spoke at the press conference on behalf of Black’s family and TransInclusive, a local trans rights organization. Harris noted that there have already been at least 25 deaths of trans people in the U.S., compared to 27 for all of 2019 and 25 in 2018.
“Bree ‘Nuk’ Black was 27 years young. The average life expectancy of a Black trans woman is 35 years of age,” Harris said. “We are asking anyone with information to please call the Broward Sheriff’s Office with any tips to bring closure to this family, to bring closure to the LGBTQ community. Please call with any tips you have.”
If you have information that could be helpful to the case, call Det. Louis Bonhomme at 954-321-4377. To remain anonymous, you can also contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or visit browardcrimestoppers.org.