As we enter the long holiday weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July, for the loved ones of Bree Black, it’s a sad reminder of her murder.
On July 3, 2020, the 27-year-old trans woman from Pompano Beach was shot and killed outside of her home while attending Fourth of July festivities in her neighborhood. Two years later, no arrests have been made in the case.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said that “homicide detectives continue to actively investigate the murder” and “they are making progress in the investigation.”
During a press conference after her murder, law enforcement told the media they didn’t know if the shooter was on foot or in a car, if Black and the shooter knew each other, or if she was specifically targeted for any reason, including being transgender.
"So many people of trans experience and specifically Black trans women like Bree Black are murdered without the killers ever being brought to justice,” said Tatiana Williams, the executive director and co-founder of Transinclusive Group in Wilton Manors. “It often seems like there is a lack of urgency when it comes to solving violent crimes and murders committed against people of trans experience, and while law enforcement acts at the moment as if it’s important — once that moment passes — the cases go cold.”
Police said hundreds of people were gathered in the streets when they arrived, but witnesses gave them very little to go off of. There is a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest. The original $3,000 reward by Broward Crime Stoppers was upped to $8,000 one month after Black’s murder.
“[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,” Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a press conference in August 2020.
Black was one of at least 44 murders of trans and gender non-conforming people in 2020, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Since the group started tracking the data in 2015, the numbers have only gone up. At the end of 2021, SFGN followed up on the 23 murders of trans and GNC people in the Sunshine State since 2015; half of them are still open.
“The police seem unable to get answers and when the cases go cold, we’re pushed out of the conversation when they feel like we’re asking too many questions,” Williams said. “With each murder, it feels like the same script with a different cast and with law enforcement unwilling to learn about and serve the transgender population, they don’t have that understanding of our community that’s necessary and mistrust continues to build."
Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. There is a reward of up to $10,000 for information that leads to an arrest.