NCAVP mourns the death of Mia Henderson, a transgender woman of color in Baltimore, Maryland; the fifth death of transgender women of color that NCAVP has responded to since the beginning of June

The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) mourns the death of Mia Henderson, a transgender woman of color in Baltimore, Maryland.  According to media reports, Mia was discovered in an alley early on Wednesday, July 16th, while police were serving a search warrant in the area.  According to police, she appears to have died from trauma to the body, indicating homicide.


NCAVP has responded to the deaths of five transgender women of color since the beginning of June 2014 alone. 


Zoraida Reyes’s body was discovered on Thursday June 12th behind a Dairy Queen. Her death has been ruled suspicious by investigators because it is believed her body was moved to that location, but has not yet been ruled a homicide.  On June 3rd, the body of Kandy Hall was discovered in a field in Northeast Baltimore in what local police believe to be a homicide. On June 19th, the body of Yaz’min Shancez was found behind a Budget Truck Rental on Powell Street in Fort Myers, Florida.  According to local media reports, local police believe her death to be a homicide, and her body had been burned. And on June 26th,Tiff Edwards was found shot to death in the middle of the road in Walnut Hills, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. 


“We are enraged after the death of another transgender woman of color, the second such homicide in Baltimore and the fifth nationally since the beginning of June,” said Osman Ahmed, NCAVP’s Research and Education Coordinator at the New York City Anti-Violence Project.  “This epidemic of fatal violence against the transgender women must be addressed nationally. Transgender communities, especially transgender women and transgender people of color, are disproportionality impacted by many forms of violence and this crisis demands a remedy.”


The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) most recent report released on May 29th, 2014,Hate Violence Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and HIV-Affected Communities in the United States in 2013, documented 18 anti-LGBTQ homicides last year.  Of those homicide victims,almost 90% were people of color..  Almost three-quarters (72%) of homicide victims were transgender women, and more than two-thirds (67%) of homicide victims were transgender women of color.


NCAVP has reached out to local organizations FreeState Legal Project and Power Inside in Baltimore, Maryland to raise awareness of these unsolved homicides and to support the local communities affected by this violence.


"As an ally of the transgender community, it is deeply troubling to watch so many of our transgender neighbors and friends become the target of hate motivated violence.  It is tragic,” said Aaron Merki, Executive Director of Free State Legal. “We must stand with, and listen to, members of our transgender community in order to solve these crimes and stop this senseless violence.  We encourage anyone who has experienced or witnessed hate violence to contact FreeState Legal for support and assistance.”