death toll

Our Grief and Hope for Paris

You’ll get through this, Paris. Just hang in. You can do this.

You have the world at your back. Our hearts grieve for your loss; our best hopes are what we can give.

And, yeah. You’re Paris fucking France. You’ll do fine.

Be well.

The Twenty-First Transgender Female Murdered in 2015

Please #SayHerName.

Zella Ziona was twenty-one years old when she was shot to death in Montgomery County, Maryland, 15 October 2015.

A witness who wished to remain anonymous told Washington, D.C. TV station WJLA he saw the gunfire around 5:50 p.m. Thursday.

“I only saw one gun. It just happened so fast, and kind of scary,” said the witness, who claimed to have seen Ziona surrounded by four or five teenagers.

In the midst of an argument, he says one of the teens pulled out a gun and shot Ziona in the head. He said he heard the gunman fire four or five rounds.

”They argued and things happened so fast. I don’t know what they argued for,” the witness told WJLA.

Ziona died at an area hospital around 8:12 p.m. Thursday, said police, who at first identified her as a male and by her birth name, but corrected that report after speaking to her friends and family.

(Ennis)

Ms. Ziona is the twenty-first transgender female known to be murdered in 2015. It would be my deepest honor if we could make it at least until TDOR without adding another name to this most terrible, horrifying list.

For those of you who are not murderers, though, it would be my honor if you would please #SayHerName. Zella Ziona. Twenty-one years old. Dead.

____________________

Ennis, Dawn. “Victim Number 21: Trans Woman Murdered in Maryland”. The Advocate. 16 October 2015.

The Twentieth Known Transgender Female Murdered in 2015

Kiesha Jenkins, 22, murdered 6 October 2015, in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania.

Her name was Kiesha Jenkins. She spent all of twenty-two years among us before being beaten and shot to death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October 2015:

Police say Pedro Redding, 22, of Hunting Park is under arrest for robbery and murder are closing in on his three alleged cohorts.

The charges stem from the robbery and killing of 22-year-old Kiesha Jenkins described by police as a transgender prostitute who was murdered last Tuesday at 13th and Wingohocking in the Hunting Park section.

Redding has told police he engaged in beating Jenkins, but someone else, he claims, shot her twice in the head during a struggle.

“The suspect gave a full statement to detectives that himself and three of his friends attempted to rob Kiesha and, during this robbery, one of the males pulled out a gun shooting and killing her,” Philadelphia Police Captain James Clark said.

Police say there is no evidence at this point that Jenkins was targeted because she was transgender, but rather because she was a known prostitute in that 13th and Wingohocking area and widely believed to be carrying plenty of cash.

“Our information is Pedro Redding and his associates live in the area and they know what goes on in that area. There are a lot of transgender individuals that frequent that area, so yes, they did know,” Clark said.

(WPVI)

It should also be noted that the transgender are apparently preferred targets of the suspect, whose record includes a prior robbery of a transgender victim.

Kiesha Jenkins is the nineteenth twentieth known transgender female murder victim this year. Please #SayHerName.

Update 17 October 2015: A note on the title ― This is one of those things I really should already know better; Kiesha Jenkins is the twentieth transgender female known to be murdered in 2015; the title of this post had previously counted her as the nineteenth. The confusion arises if we pause to consider whether or not to include Bri Golec in the count; despite Ms. Golic being transgendered, and this fact being at the heart of why her father is accused of murder, neither family nor local authorities will properly acknowledge the point. Given my own disagreement with this refusal, I really ought to know better. Ms. Jenkins was number twenty; number twenty-one, we learned last night, was named Zella Ziona, age 21, shot to death in Montgomery County, Maryland, on 15 October 2015. #SayHerName, please. Recite them all.

____________________

Image note: Kiesha Jenkins, 22, murdered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October 2015.

Action News. “1 charged, 3 more sought in murder of Kiesha Jenkins”. WPVI. 12 October 2015.

Our Sadness

TG-logo-dark

It occurs to me that, while winter-season holiday shopping and promotions often start sometime during the summer, September has arrived and I haven’t done a thing for TDOR.

Neither, I am betting, have you. The list:

• Zella Ziona, 21, Montgomery County, Maryland, 15 October 2015.

• Kiesha Jenkins, 22, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 6 October 2015

• Tamara Dominiguez, 36, Kansas City, Missouri, 15 August 2015

• Elisha Walker, 20, Smithfield, North Carolina, 13 August 2015

• Kandis Capri, 35, Phoenix, Arizona, 11 August 2015

• Shade Schuler, 22, Dallas Texas, 29 July 2015

• Amber Monroe, 20, Detroit, Michigan, 8 August 2015

• K. C. Haggard, 66, Fresno, California, 23 July 2015

• India Clarke, 25, Tampa, Florida, 21 July 2015

• Ashton O’Hara, 25, Detroit, Michigan, 14 July 2015

• Jasmine Collins, 32, Kansas City, Missouri, 23 June 2015

• Keyshia Blige, 33, Aurora, Illinois, 7 March 2015

• Mercedes Williamson, 17, Rock Creek, Alabama, 30 May 2015

• London Chanel, 21, North Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 18 May 2015

• Kristina Gomez Reinwald, 46, Miami, Florida, 16 February 2015

• Bri Golec, 22, Akron, Ohio, 13 February 2015

• Penny Proud, 21, New Orleans, Louisiana, 10 February 2015

• Taja Gabrielle DeJesus, 36, San Francisco, California, 1 February 2015

• Yasmin Vash Payne, 33, Los Angeles, California, 31 January 2015

• Ty Underwood, 24, Tyler, Texas, 26 January 2015

• Lamia Beard, 30, Norfolk, Virginia, 17 January 2015

• Papi Edwards, 20, Louisville, Kentucky, 9 January 2015

These are the murders. We’re still counting the suicides.

Please say their names, every one of them.

And Heaven help us, let it stop here and now.

____________________

Our thanks to Mitch Kellaway and Sunnivie Brydum at The Advocate; this is a harrowing list compiled from grim duty, and we really should be keeping our own tally. Meanwhile, at least someone has. Please … #SayHerName.

Kellaway, Mitch and Sunnivie Brydum. “These Are the U.S. Trans Women Killed in 2015”. The Advocate. 27 July 2015.

The Price: Shira Banki Is Dead

Shira Banki, 16, wounded in the 31 July 2015 terror attack against Jerusalem Gay Pride, succumbed to her injuries and died 2 August 2015.

“Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl.”

Banki family

Shira Banki, 16, has died from wounds sustained in a terror attack against the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem on 30 July.

Three days after being critically wounded by an ultra-Orthodox man that went on a stabbing rampage at Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade, Shira Banki, a 16-year-old Israeli teen succumbed to her wounds Sunday afternoon. Five other people were wounded in the attack.

Police confirmed that the suspected stabber is Yishai Schlissel, a Haredi man from Modiin Ilit who stabbed three participants in the 2005 Gay Pride march. He was recently released from prison after serving a 10-year sentence.

Banki was a high-school student from Jerusalem, studying at the Hebrew University High School. She took part in Thursday’s parade to show solidarity with her LGBT friends. She is survived by her parents and three siblings; her family decided to donate her organs.

In a statement issued Sunday, her family said: “Our magical Shira was murdered because she was a happy 16-year-old – full of life and love – who came to express her support for her friends’ rights to live as they choose. For no good reason and because of evil, stupidity and negligence, the life of our beautiful flower was cut short. Bad things happen to good people, and a very bad thing happened to our amazing girl. The family expresses hope for a less hatred and more tolerance.” The family requests the public respect their privacy as they grieve.

(Kubovich)

This is the price of conscience and tradition and privilege. There are those who would covet your body and soul alike, and this is what it is worth to them.

____________________

Image note: Shira Banki died 2 August 2015 from wounds sustained in a 30 July terror attack against the Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem.

Kubovich, Yaniv. “16 Year Old Stabbed in Jerusalem Pride Parade Succumbs to Wounds”. Haaretz. 2 August 2015.

More Missouri Madness

New York City, 30 March 2015: Rachel Maddow interviews Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star during an episode of The Rachel Maddow Show for msnbc in New York City, 30 March 2015, discussing the apparent suicide of Robert “Spence” Jackson, communications director to former State Auditor Tom Schweich, who took his own life last month after accusing Missouri GOP Chairman John Hancock of a whisper campaign accusing Schweich, a 2016 gubernatorial hopeful, of being Jewish.

It … it happened … again.

For the second time in a month, Missourians struggled Monday to understand the unfathomable — why a leading political figure in the state would take his own life.

Robert “Spence” Jackson, a prominent Republican spokesman and media liaison for more than a decade, was found dead Sunday night in the bedroom of his Jefferson City apartment.

He died from a single gunshot from a .357 Magnum revolver, police said. He left a note. Authorities consider the death a suicide.

They were unwilling Monday to officially tie Jackson’s death to that of his boss, former Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich, who shot himself Feb. 26. But politicians and consultants easily connected the two events.

(Helling and Hancock)

Rachel Maddow hosted Kansas City Star reporter Dave Helling on Monday, in hopes of trying to put at least some of the pieces together.Robert "Spence" Jackson died 27 March 2015 of an apparent suicide. Mr. Jackson's death is the second suicide in Missouri's 2016 Republican gubernatorial primary, after his boss and friend, State Auditor Tom Schweich, took his own life a month ago after alleging a whisper campaign against him by state Republican Party Chairman John Hancock, accusing that he was Jewish. (Photo via Kansas City Star)

The Missouri GOP verges on coming apart; Mr. Helling describes in his interview with Maddow calls for the proximal players in this awful chapter to simply step away in order for the party to save itself. One might also wonder if that would have any real effect; will a handful of closely associated Republicans choosing to depart change enough about the Grand Old Party in the Show-Me State? After all, the looming question here is what, exactly, is going on with Missouri Republicans?

____________________

Image note: Top―Rachel Maddow interviews Dave Helling regarding the apparent suicide of Robert “Spence” Jackson, 30 March 2015, on The Rachel Maddow Show for msnbc. Right―Robert “Spence” Jackson. (Photo via Kansas City Star)

Helling, Dave and Jason Hancock. “Tom Schweich spokesman Spence Jackson found dead of apparent suicide”. The Kansas City Star. 30 March 2015.

Maddow, Rachel. “Second suicide shocks Missouri Republicans”. The Rachel Maddow Show. msnbc. 30 March 2015.

A Disaster in Missouri

Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich, candidate for Republican gubernatorial nomination in August, 2016, committed suicide 26 February 2015, amid swirling rumors of a bizarre anti-Semitic conspiracy against him despite the fact that he was an Episcopalian.

That elections should not have death tolls is itself a grim enough statement insofar as there exist circumstances in the human endeavor requiring such reminders; but these are the United States of America, and, really, elections should not have death tolls.

Rachel Maddow tries to summarize the circumstances surrounding the apparent suicide of Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich.

Tony Messenger, editorial page editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Had I not ignored his phone call to me at 9:41 Thursday morning — I was doing a thing at my kids’ school district — I might have been the last person to talk to the man who wanted to be governor. It made for a chilling day in which I decided to do something I’ve never done before as a reporter: reveal the contents of off-the-record conversations with a source. That source is now dead. I believe it’s what he would have wanted.

Mr. Messenger again, in an official statement released via the Post-Dispatch.

The story itself is unbelievable, not for any implication that this is something other than a suicide. Rather, the question of how and why things got so far out of hand.

Steve Kraske and Dave Helling of the Kansas City Star bring us a statement from Missouri Republican Party Chairman John Hancock that pretty much makes the point:

I would like to set the record straight, once and for all: Until recently, I mistakenly believed that Tom Schweich was Jewish, but it was simply a part of what I believed to be his biography—no different than the fact that he was from St. Louis and had graduated from Harvard Law School. While I do not recall doing so, it is possible that I mentioned Tom’s faith in passing during one of the many conversations I have each day. There was absolutely nothing malicious about my intent, and I certainty was not attempting to “inject religion” into the governor’s race, as some have suggested (in fact, I have never met with donors or raised money on behalf of the Hanaway campaign).

If words seem to fail, there is a reason.

This is apparently the scandal at the heart of it all. This is apparently the reason Tom Schweich has killed himself.

Elections should not have death tolls. What is happening in our society that we are seeing these outcomes? How does having Jewish ancestry even come into play in the first place? And how is it that this is the second year in a row we have seen a suicide in a primary election?

____________________

Maddow, Rachel. “A shocking death in a harsh Republican primary in Missouri”. The Rachel Maddow Show. msnbc. 27 February 2015.

Messenger, Tony. “From voicemail to voicemail: The short political life and times of Tom Schweich”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 27 February 2015.

—————. “Statement of Tony Messenger, Post-Dispatch Editorial Page Editor, on Schweich Death”. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. 26 February 2015.

Kraske, Steve and Dave Helling. “Missouri GOP chairman denies spreading rumors about Tom Schweich’s religion”. The Kansas City Star. 27 February 2015.