The murder of Penny Proud, who was fatally shot early Tuesday morning in New Orleans, marks the fifth transgender woman of color to be murdered in the United States in less than a month,BuzzFeed reports.
Proud, 21, was shot a number of times around 1:30 AM on Feb. 10 at an intersection in New Orleans and was pronounced dead at the scene, a police statement, which misidentified the victim as a man, reads, according to Gay Star News. BuzzFeed also points out that local media coverage about the case "dwelled on prostitution, even though it had no apparent connection to the homicide."
"He was pronounced dead on the scene," said a statement from the New Orleans Police Department. Police are currently on the search for a suspect and are still trying to determine a motive. Additionally, Police Officer Garry Flot told BuzzFeed News he could not confirm the victim was a transgender woman, referring questions to the New Orleans coroner's office.
LGBT rights and non-violence organizations have reacted to the handful of murders of transgender women of color.
"These deaths had little to no mainstream media attention. The silence and lack of action from media on behalf of the Black transgender community sends a strong message that black trans lives, in fact, do not matter," said BreakOUT!, a LGBT youth of color group, in a statement. "When these deaths were covered, they were often not given the respect they so deserve. Transgender women are often misgendered in news reports and their stories are often riddled with patronization and condescending opinions from reporters."
The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs released a statement as well, and had similar sentiments as the members of BreakOUT!
"2015 has begun in absolute tragedy, with the loss of four black transgender women and one Latina transgender woman," said Chai Jindasurat, co-director of community organizing and public advocacy at NCAVP, in a statement. "We all must take immediate action by supporting the leadership of transgender women of color, public awareness and respect campaigns, speaking out against this violence, and protecting transgender people from harassment and discrimination."
Proud is at least the fifth trans women of color to be murdered in 2015.
Lamia Beard shot dead Jan. 17 in Norfolk, Virginia and Ty Underwood was murdered, shot in her car, on Jan. 26. Yazmin Vash Payne was discovered stabbed to death on Jan. 31 at the scene of a house fire in Los Angeles and Taja Gabrielle de Jesus was discovered stabbed to death on a stairwell in San Francisco earlier this month.
Local media initially misgendered Underwood and BuzzFeed notes the same happened with Beard's story.
From our media partner EDGE