The 19th reported murder of a transgender American this year took place Friday in Kansas City, Kan., according to local activists.
Kansas City police and local media have identified the victim, who was shot to death, as a 20-something man and have not released a name, but friends, relatives, and activists have posted on social media that she was a trans woman named Ja’leyah-Jamar.
Adriana Sanders, the victim’s cousin, posted the following on Facebook: “Ja’leyah-Jamar didn’t ask for this life… No one can control WHO they love God made us to live and love and to grow… It’s not our fault as a Transgender woman or a homosexual man to want to live a normal life…wanting to be in love have a family build your own legacy and because a Man could not accept who he was as himself and individual he felt the need to take my cousin’s life.”
“Another Black trans woman was killed in Kansas City this weekend!” activist Merrique Jenson posted on Facebook. “Kansas City is one of the epicenters of violence towards trans women of color, particularly Black trans women, in this country! I learned of the information yesterday and have checked in with some of the trans women who knew her directly. While she is still being misgendered and misidentified by most KC media outlets, community advocates have already begun to share updates as we learn more. I encourage agencies with social, political and financial power to do something about this.” Trans woman Brooklyn Lindsey was murdered across the state line in Kansas City, Mo., in June.
Of the 19 transgender Americans reported murdered this year, 18 have been black women, including Ja’leyah-Jamar.
Police have released a photo of a man being sought in connection with the Friday murder, along with two photos of his car, The Kansas City Star reports.
Constant reports of violence against our community are difficult to read, especially as we continue to face historic rates. If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, you can reach out to the Anti-Violence Project’s free bilingual (English/Spanish) national hotline at (212) 714-1141 or report online for support.