A Baltimore transgender woman has died of a gunshot wound, bringing the number of reported murders of transgender people in 2016 to 21 — the total reported for all of last year.
Crystal Edmonds, a 32-year-old African-American trans woman, was bleeding from a gunshot to the back of her head when police found her on a sidewalk on the city’s northwest side shortly after 3 a.m. Friday, Baltimore’s City Paper reports. She was taken to a hospital, where she died about 11 a.m.
Police are investigating her death as a homicide, and they are offering a cash reward of up to $2,000 for tips regarding the case, as they have a dearth of leads. They ask that anyone with information call Metro Crime Stoppers, (866) 756-2587, or submit tips online at MetroCrimeStoppers.org.
As in past years, the majority of transgender people murdered this year are trans women of color. At a news conference, the Baltimore police spokesman T.J. Smith noted that trans people “sometimes are vulnerable” to attack, which could be considered a major understatement. He added that he didn’t know if Edmonds was targeted for being transgender, City Paper reports.
The actual number of trans people murdered in any year is likely higher than that reported in the media, as police departments and news outlets often misgender trans victims. In Chicago, an African-American trans woman known as T.T. was found stabbed to death Sunday, with her throat slit, but police and some local media sources continue to refer to her as a man and identify her by her birth name. No arrests have been made in that case.