A Washington, D.C., man has been arrested in the death of 18-year-old Black transgender woman Tasiyah “Siyah” Woodland of Maryland.
St. Mary’s County, Md., sheriff’s deputies and District of Columbia detectives arrested Darryl Carlton Parks Jr., 29, in D.C. March 28, the Washington Blade reports. He faces charges including first-degree murder and second-degree murder.
Woodland was shot to death March 24 near a bar in Mechanicsville, Md. St. Mary’s County authorities said there was “some type of confrontation” before she was killed, but they don’t believe her gender identity was a factor in the crime. Her family contends, however, that she was the victim of a hate crime, the Blade reports.
Woodland, who lived in Lexington Park, Md., had attended Great Mills High School and was studying at the College of Southern Maryland. She worked at a Hollister clothing store. On a GoFundMe page, family members described her as “high spirited and protective of those she loved.” After her mother’s death, Woodland “got the courage to start living in her truth and started her transition, which her family accepted with open arms,” the page notes.
Parks had been arrested in February 2021 in D.C. on charges of aggravated reckless driving and attempted second-degree child cruelty, the Blade reports. Charging documents said he had intentionally struck another vehicle with his pickup truck and that he had a 3-year-old child with him in the truck. The child was not in a safety seat or belted in. However, the charges were dismissed last September at prosecutors’ request. No explanation was made public.
Woodland is at least the eighth trans, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming person to die by violence in the U.S. this year. There are likely many others whose deaths go unreported or misreported due to misgendering and deadnaming.