The number of trans or non-binary people killed this year jumped significantly in the last two months: from 19 to 28.

In 2021, 55 trans and gender-diverse individuals were killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

Ray Muscat and Nedra Sequence Morris were killed in May. Later investigations revealed that Sasha Mason and Chanelika Y’Ella Dior Hemingway were also killed in May, while Brazil Johnson, Shawmaynè Giselle Marie, and Kitty Monroe were killed in June.

Cherry Bush, Aaron Lynch, Martasia Richmond, Keshia Chanel Geter, Kandii Reed, Hayden Davis, Marisela Castro, and Dede Ricks were killed in July and August.

Cherry Bush, 48

A man from California has been charged with murder and a hate crime in the death of Cherry Bush, a homeless transgender woman in Los Angeles.

Bush, 48, was shot to death July 5, according to the Advocate. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón’s office charged Eric Antonio Sanchez, 29, with one count each of murder and attempted murder with a hate-crime allegation, according to a press release from the D.A.’s office.

“Hate crimes have spiked across the country in recent years and we remain steadfast in ensuring that we hold these violent individuals accountable while working to prevent such violence from happening in the future,” Gascón said in the release. “Targeting someone because of their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is unconscionable.”

“Cherry’s status as a homeless person does not make her life less valuable or reduce the tragedy of her death,” Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents notes. “Her vulnerability as a person who had no housing is part of the larger narrative of how our society has left our trans neighbors unprotected on multiple fronts — their identities, their financial security, their housing, and more. Cherry was literally having a conversation when she was shot down simply because she existed.”

Aaron Lynch, 26

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Photo via HRC.

Aaron Lynch, a trans man, was experiencing a mental health crisis when he was shot by police on July 7 in Virginia.

According to a body cam video, Lynch charged at three officers wielding a wine bottle like a club, causing an officer to shoot him four times. His parents, after watching the video, said the killing “cannot be justified.”

“We recognize that, at times, police officers face grave and unknown dangers in the line of duty, but that was not the case for that call at our home regarding our son,” the couple said, according to the Washington Post.

Police Chief Kevin Davis said the shooting is still being investigated.

“Our officers were confronted with a very chaotic and dangerous situation,” Davis said at a news conference. “I want to be careful not to offer any assessments or any opinions, but I think it’s clear to see from the video that that was a very active and chaotic incident.”

Martasia Richmond, 30

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Photo via HRC.

Martasia Richmond, a Black trans woman, was stabbed to death by her partner on July 12.

According to Chicago Journal, Richmond was arguing with Daniel Burley at Burley’s grandmother’s house when she was stabbed in the neck and chest area. Burley then called 911, and Richmond could be heard saying, “You stabbed me … you killed me,” at which point he hung up.

Burley was taken into custody, held without bail, and charged with one count of first-degree murder.

Advocates mourned Richmond’s death.

“It is evident in the countless tributes from friends that Martasia Richmond was well-loved and taken from us far too soon,” said Tori Cooper, Human Rights Campaign Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, in a press release. “At 30 years old, she should have decades ahead of her to spend with those she loved.”

Keshia Chanel Geter, 26

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Photo via HRC.

After Keshia Geter, a Black trans woman, was shot to death July 20 in Georgia, her family wanted to raise awareness of the legacy she left behind, according to ABCNews4.

“Shined bright like a diamond. Always made me laugh. My best friend, we talked all the time," said Geter's mother, Michelle Jordan. "A beautiful spirit. Loving, kind, wonderful, beautiful. Helped everybody. Would give the shirt off her back."

While Geter was traveling with a friend, she was shot outside of a motel. On July 21, the Richmond County Sheriff's Office arrested Jaquarie Allen, 22, in connection with her murder.

"This senseless killing doesn’t make sense," Jordan said.

Kandii Redd, 29

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Photo via HRC.

Kandii Redd, a Black trans woman who also went by Kamila Marie Swann and Dee Dee, was an award-winning performer and model. After she was stabbed to death on July 24 in Missouri,  Cooper said Redd deserved a “long and full life filled with joy and hope.”

“Yet again, we mourn for one of our own taken far too soon,” Cooper said in a press release. “Yet again, we find ourselves asking how we can stem the tide of fatal violence that too many Black transgender women face. I don’t yet know how, but I do know we must.”

Police are still looking for a suspect, according to KMBC.

Hayden Davis, 28

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Photo via HRC.

Hayden Davis, a Black trans woman, had an interest in fashion, the Kardashian family, and cosmetics, according to Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. But all of that ended when her body was found wrapped in a blanket on the street after being shot several times on July 25 in Detroit.

“Unfortunately, I can confirm that another trans woman of color was murdered in Detroit, and it’s an ongoing pandemic that I’m always fighting,” said Julisa Abad, victim advocate for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and director of transgender outreach and advocacy for Fair Michigan. “I’m fighting to get justice for my fallen sisters and their family members.”

Police are still seeking a suspect.

Marisela Castro, 39

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Photo via HRC.

A “bright and “sunny” person who never made any enemies, Marisela Castro, a Latina trans woman, was killed on the eve of her birthday on July 29 in Texas.

Community members gathered on Aug. 4 for a vigil to honor her, according to ABC13.

"It's very heavy. I was in shock and really sad at first. I thought it couldn't be happening again. Then I was angry. All the emotions, you know? Because I was thinking, 'Who will be the next one?'" said Elia Chino, the executive director of Fundación Latinoamericana De Acción Social, a Spanish-speaking nonprofit organization advocating for Houston's trans community.

Police are looking for two people who are suspected of shooting and killing Castro.

Dede Ricks, 33

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Photo via HRC.

Dede Ricks, a Black trans woman, was shot and killed in her home in Detroit on Aug. 27, according to fox2detroit. Deontae Antoine Close, 31, was arrested and charged with her murder.

“The fact that we have seen two homicides of transgender women in just three weeks shows the danger this community faces,” Alanna Maguire, president of LGBTQ advocacy organization Fair Michigan, said in a statement.

“Rather than being supported, we often hear people vilify the transgender community which fuels this kind of violence and hate. We are proud to work with [Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s] office on these cases, and we hope to bring justice to the victims and their families.”


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