While crime rates, generally speaking, have fallen during the shutdowns across the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic, that doesn’t appear to be the case for trans people who have been murdered so far this year. 

Thus far at least 25 trans or gender non-conforming individuals are known to have been murdered in 2020, according to The Human Rights Campaign. Last year, they tracked at least 27 in the U.S.

Below are six of the more recent murders.

 

Tiffany Harris, 32

Tiffany Harris’ mother described her as “a wonderful, loving person” who was “loved by everyone,” in an interview with The New York Daily News.

On July 26, her daughter was stabbed multiple times in the chest in an apartment building in New York City, according to The Daily News. 

“I can’t imagine people being so brutal,” Harris’ stepfather said in the interview. 

Harris’ parents repeatedly deadnamed their daughter in interviews with local media saying things like “He’d like to put on makeup and appear feminine,” according to reporting from the Daily News.

They refused to acknowledge their daughter’s gender identity, instead referring to her with male pronouns and saying she was “just gay.” The mother added Harris sometimes dressed feminine. “He didn’t hurt anyone. I don’t know why he was there. I don’t know who he was with. I didn’t know much about his lifestyle.”

The police released a surveillance image of the suspect and are asking the public’s help identifying him and tracking him down, as reported by the Daily News.

 

Queasha Hardy, 24

Queasha Hardy was a talented hairstylist who operated a popular salon that people loved to visit.

She was shot to death July 27 in Baton, Louisiana, according to The Advocate. She died on the street.

The Advocate detailed how dozens of Hardy’s friends posted on her Facebook page expressing pain and disbelief that someone so full of life and personality could be taken so soon.

"God hears our cries. … It's been raining since you left," one person wrote, according to The Advocate. "Just to have you in our presence was enough. You didn't deserve it."

The Baton Rouge Police Department deadnamed her in their releases to the public because the victim’s next of kin requested Hardy be identified as male, The Advocate reported.

However, The Advocate said multiple friends and advocacy groups contacted them saying she was a trans woman. 

Police have yet to identify a suspect, according to them.

 

Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, 27

Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells “was truly one of a kind," Fells’ family wrote on a GoFundMe page that was used to raise funeral costs.

"Our family is in mourning and in utter disbelief that something like this could happen to one of our own," her family also wrote.

Her body was found June 8, floating in the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia, according to NBC10.

She died of multiple stab wounds, according to People Magazine. Her legs had been cut off, and bruising was found on her face and head.

The Office of LGBT Affairs in Philadelphia called the killing trans People of Color an epidemic in a statement, according to NBC10.

“We are reminded with this, and countless other painful losses — especially within our transgender communities — that there is much left to do until we achieve full equality, respect, and support for us all. The murder of transgender people — especially those of color — is truly an epidemic, and a crisis that we cannot afford to allow to persist any further," the statement read in part.

A police spokesperson said detectives were actively investigating the killing, as reported by NBC10.

 

Riah Milton, 25

Riah Milton’s mother described her daughter as “outgoing, helpful and someone who always put her family first.”

"She just wanted to be accepted for who she was," she said to MSN.

Her daughter was shot and killed during a robbery in Liberty Township, Ohio June 9, according to MSN. She was a Black trans woman.

Two of the suspects are facing charges such as murder, aggravated robbery, complicity and tampering with evidence. The third suspect has yet to be found, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.

 

Brian Powers, 43

Brian Powers was a spiritual person according to his sister Vivian Powers-Smith. 

He often talked about how “He knew God loved him,” Powers-Smith said to the Akron Beacon Journal. “I always told him ‘God made you and he knew what he was doing when he made you. ... You are who you are supposed to be.’”

Powers was a Black trans man who died by a single gunshot wound in Akron, Ohio, according to the Beacon Journal.

19News reported that he was murdered June 13 close to the Chapel Church near the University of Akron campus.

An Akron police spokesperson said that detectives are at an impasse because there are no suspects, and have very little information to go on.

However, the police spokesperson said the department is devoting ample resources to the case, the Beacon Journal reported. Family and friends are continuing to search for clues.


Tatiana Hall, 22

Friends and family members said that Tatiana Hall was a devout fashionista who dreamed of opening her own boutique or clothing line someday, according to BuzzFeed. Mariah Hope, a close relative said Hall was like a sister to her, affectionately calling her a “diva.” 

“She loved to dress,” Hope said to BuzzFeed. “She loved to keep her hair and her nails done. She had the prettiest smile, and she just liked to have fun.”

“...I’ve been feeling sick because I feel her,” Nyella Love, a friend, told BuzzFeed. “I feel her in the way of something else. I know she was hurt, and I know she was scared when she was taken from us. I feel it. I see it. She didn’t deserve it. She didn’t deserve nothing of it.”

Very little information has been reported on the Black trans woman’s death. The Philadelphia Police Department has not officially ruled her death as a homicide, according to them. 

The police claim Hall had drugs in her system, suggesting that her death was from an overdose, but family and friends told BuzzFeed News that Hall did not do drugs, as reported by them. They believe that she was killed by a man she was seeing, and police are reportedly following up on leads.

 

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