A Black transgender man was shot to death by police in Tallahassee, Florida, adding fuel to the fire of unrest as demonstrators nationwide protest systemic racism and police brutality.
Tony McDade, 38, was killed by a police officer last Wednesday after stabbing his neighbor, The Tampa Bay Times reports. The neighbor was found with fatal stab wounds when police arrived. McDade fled the scene but was found 15 minutes later at a different apartment, where he was shot and killed by an officer after reportedly brandishing a gun. (Witnesses have confirmed that the officer who killed McDade is white.)
.@HRC mourns Tony McDade, a Black transgender man killed in Tallahassee, Florida, on May 27. He is believed to be at least the 12th trans or gender non-conforming person killed in the United States this year. https://t.co/tcuTCkozHX
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) May 30, 2020
The day before the stabbing, McDade uploaded a video to Facebook claiming he was “suicidal” and planned to get revenge on a group of men who had brutally attacked him. News of his death was met with support from his community, who lovingly called him “Tony the Tiger.”
“We don’t know a lot of the details around Tony’s death, or how police became involved,” the group wrote. “We do know that Tony should not have been killed. We must work together to raise awareness about the unique challenges that Black LGBTQ/SGL people face. It is important to highlight the too often ignored violence that members of our community face in addition to the discrimination we may experience because we are Black.”
McDade’s shooting comes just days after the widely reported death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man killed by police in Minnesota. After handcuffing Floyd, a white officer kneeled on his neck for more than seven minutes. The 46-year-old repeatedly told officers, “I can’t breathe.” He died later in police custody.
Derek Chauvin, the cop who kneeled on Floyd’s neck, has since been fired from the force and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
The deaths of Black men like McDade, Floyd, and countless others at the hands of police prompted nationwide protests this past weekend. Large crowds of demonstrators took to the streets in major cities like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Minneapolis, where Floyd lived, in protest of police brutality and in solidarity with Black Americans.