Two more Black transgender women have become homicide victims.
Mia Green, 29, died of a gunshot wound Monday in Philadelphia, while the victim of a fatal shooting in Louisiana in August has been identified trans woman Kee Sam, 24. Their deaths mean that at least 29 trans Americans have died by violence this year, most of them Black or Latinx women.
In Philadelphia, shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, police stopped a driver for going through a stop sign, TV station WCAU reports. The driver, Abdullah Ibn El-Amin Jaamia, 28, told police his passenger, Green, had been shot.
Green was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the neck about 8:30 a.m. Police arrested Jaamia Tuesday; he is charged with her murder and other offenses, according to the station.
“This latest act of violence against a member of our community is a somber reminder of the epidemic of violence against trans individuals,” said a statement from the city’s Office of LGBT Affairs. “It is a crisis that cannot be allowed to persist any further. The countless painful losses experienced during this year alone — especially within our transgender communities of color — remind us that there is much work to be done in the pursuit of full equality, respect, and justice for us all.”
Deja Lynn Alvarez, a Philadelphia trans activist, told The Philadelphia Inquirer she did not know Green but termed her death “heartbreaking and infuriating.”
“When is society going to realize that our deaths are because of the stigma that they attach to us?” Alvarez said. “They keep wanting to blame it on us as trans people, but we’re not the ones putting out hate, stigma, and bigotry. It’s society. I don’t deserve to be murdered because of who I am.”
Sam was shot at a hotel in Lafayette, La., August 12 and died the next day, the Human Rights Campaign reports. She was initially deadnamed and misgendered in local media, so she is just now being recognized as a trans woman. A 16-year-old suspect is in police custody.
“Another Black transgender woman has been killed in this country,” Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the HRC’s Transgender Justice Initiative, said in a press release. “We know that Black trans women are disproportionately affected by this violence, and yet far too many still remain silent about the violence we face. HRC has already seen as many violent deaths of transgender and gender-nonconforming people this year as we tracked all of last year. We must all speak up in support of trans and gender non-conforming people and affirm that Black Trans Lives Matter. As we mourn Kee, we will continue to advocate for reforms that will protect trans lives. We must all support and protect our trans friends and family. We must also ensure that hate crime laws and judicial systems hold those who hurt us accountable.”