The New York Police Department has arrested a man in connection with the death of Black transgender woman Tiffany Harris, who was fatally stabbed in an apartment building in the Bronx in July.
Alpha Diallo, 21, was arrested Wednesday and is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter, and weapon possession, the New York Daily News reports.
Harris was found in the hallway of an apartment building about 1:30 a.m. July 26. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead about 2:20 a.m. She had lived in another Bronx building, about a mile from where she was found.
Diallo was diagnosed with schizophrenia a few years ago and had been involuntarily admitted to the psychiatric ward of a Manhattan hospital August 7 on the basis that he was a danger to himself and others, his attorney, Michael Cibella, said in Bronx Criminal Court when Diallo was formally charged Thursday, according to the Daily News.
He had robbed a CVS drugstore in Indianapolis in 2017 and two years later received a sentence of time served plus three years of supervised release on the condition that he continue taking medication for schizophrenia. But he had gone off his meds during the COVID-19 pandemic, Cibella said.
Harris also went by the name Dior H. Ova, and her Facebook page expresses her love of fashion and says she worked as a personal shopper. The Daily News used a male name for Harris and said her family identified her as a gay man who cross-dressed, but other accounts indicate she was a transgender woman.
The Human Rights Campaign mourned her in a news release at the time of her death. “Who else? Who else has to die before this country stands up and demands that we put an end to this epidemic of violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people, and especially Black trans women like Dior Ova,” said HRC Director of Community Engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative Tori Cooper. “We are experiencing an epidemic of violence against transgender and gender-nonconforming people like we have never seen before. Every single one of the at least 25 victims, including Ova, is a human being who had their lives stolen from them because of a mix of toxic masculinity, misogyny, racism and transphobia. As we mourn the loss of yet another Black transgender woman, we must continue to call for it to end.”