Post submitted by former HRC Digital Media Manager Helen Parshall
HRC is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Muhlaysia Booker, 23, a Black transgender woman fatally shot in Dallas on May 18.
Last month, Booker was viciously attacked in what Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings described as “mob violence” in a written statement. Dallas Police arrested Edward Thomas, 29, one of several suspects in the videotaped attack, but he is no longer in police custody. Officers say that there is no indication at this point that the April attack is linked to Booker’s killing.
“This one's personal to me, her loved ones, BTAC and every trans Texan,” wrote transgender advocate Monica Roberts. “As BTMI president Trenton Johnson said on my FB page, ‘they attack her in one month and then take her life the next! This has to stop!’”
Friends, family and advocates across the country took to social media to mourn Booker, sharing their shock and disbelief.
“Such a beautiful spirit taken too soon,” wrote one person. “She lived her life and loved all of who she was.”
At a press conference after she was attacked in April, Booker courageously spoke out against the violence she experienced. Her words have been re-shared across social media in the wake of her death.
“This has been a rough week for myself, the transgender community and also the city of Dallas,” Booker said at the press conference. “This time, I can stand before you … whereas in other scenarios, we are at a memorial.”
Booker’s death is the fourth known case of deadly violence against the transgender community in 2019. Last year, advocates tracked the deaths of at least 26 transgender people, the majority of whom were Black transgender women.
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. Of the more than 130 known victims of anti-transgender violence from 2013 to present, nearly two-thirds of those killed were victims of gun violence.
It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia 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.