Post submitted by Brian McBride, former HRC Digital Strategist 

HRC mourns the tragic loss of Sherrell Faulkner, a transgender woman of color, who died last week of injuries sustained during an attack last November in Charlotte, North Carolina. Faulkner was 46.

The Charlotte Observer reported that Faulkner was found near a dumpster in a LGBTQ-friendly part of the city. Her death marks the 11th transgender person to die as a result of violence in the U.S. in 2017. Twenty-two trans women were killed in the U.S. last year.

“Our hearts are heavy with the news of the death of Sherrell Faulkner,” said Ames Simmons, the Director of Transgender Policy at Equality NC and a member of HRC’s Board of Directors. “We must address the root causes of violence against our community, and we cannot rest until the violence stops.”

At the time of the attack, North Carolina’s House Bill (HB) 2 was still on the books. HB2 was an outrageous and unprecedented anti-LGBTQ law that eliminated existing municipal non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people and living wage ordinances and prevents such protections from being passed by cities in the future. The legislation also barred transgender people from some public restrooms and other facilities matching their gender identity.

HB2 has since been replaced by HB142 , which still prohibits LGBTQ people from achieveing full equality. The legislation passed would effectively ban LGBTQ non-discrimination protections statewide through 2020 and permanently bar cities from passing laws that ensure transgender people can access facilities in accordance with their identity.

Police are now treating the assault as a homicide. No arrests have been made at this point.

Authorities are asking anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit their website here.

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