Although 2020 was the worst year for fatal violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, 2021 is quickly catching up with at least 40 deaths.

In August, two trans women of color were killed: Miss CoCo and Pooh Johnson.

Miss CoCo

CoCo, 44, was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas Aug. 7 in a homeless encampment, according to NBC. She later died at a hospital.

Although the police did not provide a description of the suspected shooter, they said a silver car was seen leaving after the shooting. They said the motive is unclear but are investigating the murder as “a hate crime” until evidence rules it out.

“It’s a horrible tragedy when any of our homeless friends die,” Pastor Wayne Walker of Our Calling told NBC. “It’s, unfortunately, a reality of the abuse that happens on the streets. Our most vulnerable population really attracts the worst kinds of predators.”

Advocates for LGBT people are demanding justice for CoCo.

“I don’t want them to just be a number,” Leslie McMurray said. “We need to have a name associated with them and to remember their memory because their life was precious, just like anyone else.”

 

Pooh Johnson

Johnson was 25 years old when she was shot to death in a car in Shreveport, Louisiana Aug. 23. Her family says that since she is a trans woman, that may have been a factor in her killing, according to KSLA. Not much is known about Johnson’s life.

Disaya Monaee and Briana Hamilton, also Black trans women, were both shot and killed in Chicago, Illinois.

Disaya Monaee

Monaee, 32, was alone in a motel room when her friends left without her since she was too tired to go out on Sept. 6, according to NBC Chicago. When they came back, they found her dead.

This is the second time Monaee’s mother, Latrina Banks, lost a child to gun violence.

“I’m relying on God right now to keep holding me up because it’s hard,” Banks cried.

Banks talked about how Monaee loved to party, cook, and take care of people, NBC Chicago reported.

“Every day my baby walked out this door, she tells me she loved me and they took that away from me,” she cried. “I will never get a chance to hear her tell me she loves me.”

Briana Hamilton

Hamilton was shot and killed Sept. 17 according to Chicago’s WGN-TV, who misgendered her.

Her mother, Ronda Ulmer, said she was an amazing person who “was loved by many” and “touched so many people’s hearts with her presence,” according to The National Black Justice Coalition.

“I am deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Briana, to hear about another young trans life stolen,” said Deputy Executive Director Victoria Kirby York. “When will there be action taken to end this epidemic of violence? When will there be action taken to protect those in our community who are the most vulnerable? I am once again encouraging lawmakers to introduce and pass legislation that will work to protect the trans community and make their safety a priority. All of us can put pressure on lawmakers to ensure the work gets done and stand with our trans brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings…”

Kiér Laprí Kartier

On Sept. 30, Kiér Laprí Kartier, a 21-year-old Black trans woman, was found fatally shot in a car in Arlington, Texas. She was later taken to a hospital where she died, according to WFAA.

DayVion Haggerty, the victim’s best friend, said that her death still hasn’t sunk in.

"I was literally just with her," Haggerty told WFAA. "Now, 72 hours later, she's gone."

Haggerty talked about how Kartier was a “ball of joy” and how “everybody just loved who she was.” He also said that her family is still processing the tragedy.

"All they want is justice and answers," Haggerty said.


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