Gus Kenworthy
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MTV's True Life Crime Investigates Death of Dallas Trans Woman

Muhlaysia Booker

The newest episode of MTV’s True Life Crime will examine the death of Dallas transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker, who was fatally shot just a month after surviving a mob assault.

Booker, 23, was killed in May 2019. The previous month, she was attacked by a crowd of people on the grounds of her apartment complex following a minor traffic accident. The attack was captured on video that went viral.

The episode, airing Tuesday at 10 p.m. Eastern, includes interviews with Booker’s mother, Stephanie Houston, who created the trans-supportive Muhlaysia Booker Foundation in her daughter’s memory; Ahmad Goree, president of the foundation’s board; staffers from the Dallas Voice, the local LGBTQ+ newspaper; and more. Award-winning journalist Dometi Pongo is host of the series, which focuses on young people who have died under mysterious circumstances.

Booker was one of at least 21 trans people to die by violence in the U.S. in 2019, with most of the victims being women of color. The number more than doubled — to 44 — in 2020, and this year is on track to exceed that. There are likely many more victims each year who go uncounted because of misgendering and deadnaming by police and local media. But by any measure, there is an epidemic of violence against trans Americans, especially Black and Latinx women.

Kendrell Lavar Lyles has been charged with Booker’s murder, and he is also charged with murdering two nontrans people. He is awaiting trial. Edward Dominic Thomas was convicted of misdemeanor assault in the attack at the apartment complex.

Watch two exclusive clips of the True Life Crime episode below.

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