Dallas Police Investigating Death of Trans Woman in 2017

Dallas has seen a series of deadly attacks on African-American transgender women recently, and now the city’s police are reopening an investigation into the death of another Black trans woman in 2017.

The skeletal remains of Armani Dante Morgan, 27, were discovered in a field within the city in July of that year, The Daily Beast reports. Her family thought she may have died of a drug overdose, and the medical examiner could not determine the cause of her death. But now the police say the investigation of her death is open, as first reported by the Beast.

Police have not connected her death to the others they are investigating. Two Black trans women were killed within two weeks recently. The body of Chynal Lindsey, 26, was pulled from a lake June 1, displaying “obvious signs of homicidal violence,” Police Chief U. Reneé Hall said at a news conference last week. Muhlaysia Booker, 23, was shot to death May 18 on a Dallas street, a month after she had been beaten by a mob in the middle of an apartment complex. She was found less than a mile from the lake where Lindsey was found. Police are looking into similarities between the attacks on these women and on other trans women killed in 2018 and 2015.

But although Morgan’s death may not be related to the others, her family members want to make sure police pay equal attention to it. “I want the Dallas Police Department to actually start pursuing Armani’s death like they are the other cases,” Robin Johnson, her aunt, told the Beast. “I get it, [her] case is gonna be a tough case to solve because it was only skeletal remains that were found … but they have been trying to give up on this case since day one.”

Morgan’s relatives said there is reason to suspect homicide because of four attacks on her shortly before her death. She was beaten three times by a woman she knew fairly well, they said; the attacker accused Morgan of stealing money from her. The third attack was June 3, 2017, the last day anyone saw her alive. In addition to these assaults, there was a shot fired into her apartment May 31, 2017.

“We have not ruled out criminal conduct [in Morgan’s death]; however, there is insufficient information thus far to indicate that her death was the result of a criminal act,” a police spokesperson told the Beast.

In response to the recent attacks on trans women, activists in Dallas have held meetings and a march to bring attention to the problem and to connect women with resources and support. “Some [local trans women] are angry, some are still mourning, some don’t know how to feel,” trans advocate Krista De La Rosa told the Beast. “It feels as if our community is being attacked.”

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