A black transgender woman in Maryland was shot and killed the day before this weekend’s International Trans Day of Visibility.
On the morning of Saturday, March 30, police responded to reports of gunfire near the border of Maryland’s Prince George’s County and Washington, D.C. There, they found the body of 27-year-old Ashanti Carmon, who was pronounced dead at the scene with multiple bullet wounds, according to ABC-7.
Earline Budd, a local transgender activist who helps find alternatives to sex work for low-income trans people, told ABC-7 that she’d seen Carmon earlier that week.
We join our local DC/DMV community in mourning Ashanti Carmon, who police confirmed yesterday was shot and killed. The crisis of violence facing Black trans women like Ashanti must end, and we will never stop working towards that goal. https://t.co/GOrgHUxETU
— National Center for Transgender Equality (@TransEquality) March 31, 2019
“She wasn’t someone that frequented the streets a lot, so that’s why it’s so shocking and the community is stunned,” Budd added. “I’ve been getting calls all day about this murder.”
The area where Carmon’s body was found is reportedly a regional hot spot for transgender sex workers. Budd claims the local advocacy group she’s associated with, HIPS, actively discourages trans women from coming to the area. However, Carmon’s death is the first reported homicide of a transgender person in the neighborhood in several years.
Last year, 26 transgender people were killed in the United States, most of them Black transgender women.
Yesterday, Ashanti Carmon was shot and killed in D.C., the second known trans person murdered this year.
This must be known and addressed.#TransDayOfVisibility
— Charlotte Clymer️ (@cmclymer) March 31, 2019
News of Carmon’s death comes months after another trans woman, Dana Martin of Alabama, succumbed to anti-transgender violence. Like Carmon—and like most of 2018’s reported victims of anti-trans violence in America—Martin was a transgender woman of color.
The investigation into Carmon’s murder is ongoing, and a motive has not been identified.