While mourning two transgender women murdered in New Orleans on Saturday and Monday, HRC was deeply saddened to learn that yet another woman—18-year-old Jaquarrius Holland—was killed in Louisiana earlier this month. Holland was shot to death in Monroe, about four hours north of New Orleans, on February 19. Media coverage initially misreported her gender, and advocates did not learn that Holland was a transgender woman until her family and friends corrected those reports on social media, according to Mic.
One friend, Chesna Littleberry, told Mic that Holland was “like a younger sister” and had helped her learn to accept herself. Police say Holland was shot after a “verbal altercation” with Malcom Derricktavios Harvey, and have issued a warrant for Harvey’s arrest, with charges of second-degree murder. Harvey has since been arrested, charged and is awaiting trial for second-degree murder.
Holland is at least the seventh transgender person killed in the U.S. this year, nearly all of them black women. The shockingly disproportionate representation of black women among transgender murder victims speaks to how racism and sexism can compound anti-transgender bias, as HRC and the Trans People of Color coalition explained in a 2016 report on fatal anti-trans violence, A Matter of Life and Death. At this time last year, only four murders of transgender people had been reported nationwide; by the year’s end, advocates had recorded more murders than in any previous year.
Jaquarrius is the third transgender woman murdered in Louisiana in the last two weeks. Chyna Doll Depree and Ciara McElveen recently lost their lives to violence in New Orleans. Louisiana has been a hotspot for anti-trans homicides for at least the past several years. Since 2013, ten transgender and gender non-conforming people have been murdered across the state, including at least six trans women and one trans man. Charges have been filed in only four of those cases.
HRC extends its sincere condolences to Ms. Holland’s family and friends.
To learn more about HRC’s transgender justice work and violence against transgender people, visit http://www.hrc.org/explore/topic/transgender.
Update 07/11/2017: Post updated to include latest details on suspect's arrest.