A 20-year-old transgender woman has been reportedly shot dead in Detroit in what is thought to be the 17th trans woman of colour to be unlawfully killed in the US this year.
Local activists and media have reported that Amber Monroe, a student at Wayne University, was found dead on Saturday morning.
A friend, Julisa Abad, told Fox2Detroit that Ms Monroe had been attacked on a number of previous occasions: “She’s been shot 2 or 3 times. But this time she didn’t make it.”
Detroit police officials would not confirm the reports, saying that it is their policy to not confirm names of victims until investigations have been completed.
Transgender rights activist and actor Laverne Cox posted a photo of Amber on her instagram account along with a heart emoticon and an image of an angel. She added #SayHerName, a hashtag used by activists to highlight the deaths of women of colour.
LGBT advocacy group Equality Michigan paid tribute to the young woman, saying in a statement: “Our hearts are heavy with grief that we have lost another vibrant member of our community too soon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of Amber’s family and friends who she clearly loved deeply.
“Her life was just beginning. Let’s come together to celebrate her life, and work for real change so that our transgender sisters can be free from persecution. I know we can do better. We have to do better.”
It is understood that the Ms Monroe is the twelfth trans woman of colour to be killed in the US this year.
It is believed that a total of 17 transgender women have been unlawfully killed in the US so far this year. This appears to be a sharp increase compared to 12 recorded deaths in the calender year of 2014 and 7 deaths in 2013.
Studies have shown that trans people of colour experience disproportionately high levels of violence. A report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs revealed that 72 per cent of anti-LGBT homicide victims are trans women and 67 per cent are trans women of colour.
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