Another Black transgender woman was killed last week, marking the fifth incident of anti-trans violence in the U.S. in a three-week span during the deadliest year on record for trans people.
Brooklyn DeShauna Smith, 20, was fatally shot in an apartment in Shreveport, Louisiana, last week, the Shreveport Times reports. Police were called to the scene around 2:15pm on Wednesday, October 7. There, they found Smith suffering from at least one gunshot wound. Investigators are working to determine if her death was hate-motivated.
For the second time this week, a #Black #trans woman has been murdered. Just 20 years old, Brooklyn DeShauna Smith was loved, had a family and friends, and deserved to live a long, happy life. #RestInPower ️ https://t.co/Rex4Kur0Ot pic.twitter.com/78RNVFD4Mt
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) October 10, 2020
In a media statement, Tori Cooper, HRC’s director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative, noted the unprecedented string of transgender killings recorded in 2020 so far. To date, at least 32 trans or gender non-conforming Americans were violently killed this year, a horrific record high. That’s one trans homicide every nine days in the first 40 weeks of 2020.
“Brooklyn was just 20 years old, at the beginning of her life. She did not deserve to have that life taken from her,” Cooper said. “Not one of the trans and gender non-conforming people who have been killed this year deserved to have their lives taken from them.”
America’s epidemic of anti-transgender violence disproportionately affects trans people of color, particularly Black trans women like Smith. The majority of these killings involve guns too. As NewNowNext reported last week, Felycya Harris, a 33-year-old Black trans woman, was also shot and killed in Augusta, Georgia.
“With the news of Brooklyn’s death, we’ve now seen more trans and gender non-conforming people killed this year since we began tracking these deaths in 2013,” Cooper added. “This violence is horrific, and it must be stopped. We need everyone to commit to taking action today to bring this violence to an end. As we mourn with Brooklyn’s friends and family, we will continue fighting for justice for all trans and gender non-conforming people.”
Learn more about violence against the trans community in 2020 here.