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Last week, it was reported that Jayne Thompson, a trans woman from Arizona, was shot and killed by police in May in Mesa County, Colorado. News of her death was delayed due to being misgendered by local media and authorities for over a month. Jayne is at least the fifth trans person to be killed in the month of May alone, and at least the second trans person to be shot and killed by police this year.
Jayne Thompson was killed just weeks before Tony McDade, a Black trans man killed by law enforcement in Florida. Both Thompson and McDade displayed signs of emotional distress that contributed to their interaction with police.
So far in 2020, at least 10 trans people have been killed, and the majority have been killed using a gun, according to research by Everytown for Gun Safety. Between 2017 and 2019, there were 80 homicides of trans or gender non-conforming people in America, and three in four of these victims were killed with a gun. Everytown intentionally includes police-involved gun homicides in its ongoing tracking of fatal shootings of trans Americans.
A new report by Everytown reveals that 79 percent of known trans homicide victims were Black. For Black trans women especially, guns are inextricably intertwined with the threat of violence. That same data shows that while 66 percent of all homicides of Black women are committed with a gun, 81 percent of homicides of Black trans women were committed with a gun.
Did you know?
The U.S. gun homicide rate is 25 times higher than that of other high-income countries.
Grinshteyn, E. and Hemenway, D. “Violent Death Rates in the US Compared to Those of the Other High-income Countries, 2015.” Preventive Medicine. (2019). https://bit.ly/3kyfsSs