Yet another Black transgender woman has died by violence — Pooh Johnson, shot to death in Shreveport, La., August 23.
Johnson was found dead in a vehicle on a Shreveport street about 5:30 that morning, Gay City News reports. She had been shot several times.
Johnson worked as a makeup artist under the name Titanizer Mua, according to her social media pages.
Shreveport police ask that anyone with information about Johnson’s death call detectives at (318) 673-7300 or (318) 673-6955. Tips can also be sent to Caddo-Shreveport Crime Stoppers at (318) 673-7373, CSCrimeStoppers.org, or the P3 Tips app. Crime Stoppers will pay up to $2,000 for information that leads to arrests.
Johnson is at least the 35th trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming victim of fatal violence in the U.S. this year, most of them being Black women. In 2020 there were at least 44 such deaths; the actual total is likely higher due to misgendering by police or media, or overall lack of reporting.
“It is heartbreaking to witness another Black trans woman stolen from us by transphobia and gun violence,” said a statement from Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Human Rights Campaign’s Transgender Justice Initiative. “We are quickly approaching last year’s record total of fatalities among transgender and gender-nonconforming people. Johnson’s tragic death highlights yet again the need for attention and resources to combat this epidemic of violence.”
The National Black Justice Coalition also issued a statement. “My heart breaks hearing the news about Pooh Johnson,” said Victoria Kirby York, deputy executive director. “This epidemic of violence continues to take life after life and each senseless loss is devastating. The trans and nonbinary community needs support in this moment and they need protection. Lawmakers must introduce and pass legislation that will prioritize the safety of trans and gender-nonconforming people. Law enforcement must work to hold those responsible for these murders accountable. Community members must put pressure on lawmakers and law enforcement to ensure the work gets done. We all must continue to fight back against the transphobia and bias that contributes to the violence we see.”