On Thursday, the Atlanta Police Department tweeted that it’s “actively investigating three violent crimes involving transgender women this year,” including a fatal shooting of a trans woman that occurred on Tuesday. The APD didn’t identify the victim in the announcement, but, according to HuffPost, she has been identified as Rasheeda Williams, also known as Koko Da Doll, who was featured in the hit 2023 Sundance Film Festival documentary Kokomo City.
“We are saddened to hear about the death of Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll,” Sundance wrote in a statement. “We were honored to have her at the Festival this year with KOKOMO CITY, where she reminded Black trans women, ‘we can do anything, we can be whatever we want to be.’ It is a tragic loss.”
The APD noted that while the three cases involving the killing of trans women “are unrelated, we are very aware of the epidemic-level violence black and brown transgender women face in America.”
According to Human Rights Campaign, a political lobbying organization and LGBTQ advocacy group, last year, at least 38 transgender people (were) fatally shot or killed by other violent means.” HRC noted that the figure didn’t include unreported incidents. In 2021, a record number of violent hate crimes committed against transgender and gender non-conforming people included at least 50 deaths, HRC reported.
While the police have not released any details about Koko’s shooting that indicate whether or not it was a hate crime, the very fact that the department mentioned the vulnerability of Black and brown trans women, coupled with the rise in reported hate crimes committed against members of the LGBTQ community, makes it easy to speculate that violent bigotry has, yet again, claimed the life of a Black trans woman whose only crime was living her life proudly.
Rest well, Koko Da Doll. We wish peace and justice for you and your family.
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