transgender woman of color

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.

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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.