Update: The following month, a warrant was issued and a suspect turned themselves in to Charleston police in relation to Stuckey's death.

HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Denali Berries Stuckey, a Black transgender woman fatally shot in North Charleston, South Carolina, on July 20. 

Stuckey, 29, was found lying by the side of a road shortly after 4 a.m., according to reports. The North Charleston Police Department has no suspects at this time, and the investigation is ongoing.

Family and friends took to social media to mourn Stuckey. “I lost my best friend, first cousin,” wrote one person. “We were more than cousin. We were like brother and sisters. I love you so much, Pooh.”

As occurs far too often in the reporting of anti-transgender violence, initial reports also misgendered and misnamed Stuckey in coverage of the crime. 

Anti-transgender stigma is exacerbated by callous or disrespectful treatment too often seen from media, law enforcement and our highest elected officials. In the pursuit of greater accuracy and respect, HRC offers guidelines for journalists and others who report on transgender people.

A vigil in Stuckey’s memory will be held today, July 20, at 8 p.m. at the Equality Hub in North Charleston.

“I am heartbroken and outraged by the news of yet another murder of one of our transgender community members,” said Alliance for Full Acceptance Executive Director Chase Glenn. “Denali is the third known black trans woman to have been murdered in South Carolina since 2018.”

Tragically, Stuckey’s death is the 12th known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2019. All of the victims were Black transgender women. 

Of the more than 140 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, approximately two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.

In November, ahead of Transgender Day of Remembrance, HRC Foundation released "A National Epidemic: Fatal Anti-Transgender Violence in America in 2018," a heartbreaking report honoring the trans people killed and detailing the contributing and motivating factors that lead to this tragic violence.

It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, transphobia, sexism, biphobia and homophobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive.

This epidemic of violence that disproportionately targets transgender people of color -- particularly Black transgender women -- must cease.

For more information about HRC’s transgender justice work, visit hrc.org/Transgender.


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