The 12th known transgender woman of color to be killed this year was found shot to death in South Carolina.
29-year-old Denali Berries Stuckey body was found in Charleston, South Carolina, early Saturday morning. She was found dead on the side of a road in North Charleston around 4 a.m., according to police. Coroner’s office officials told ABC News that Stuckey’s death has been ruled a homicide and an investigation is ongoing.
“She was a free spirit. She was very outspoken,” family friend Ron’Rico Judon told ABC News. “If you didn’t like the fact that she was trans, she would give you a piece of her mind.”
HuffPost was one of the first outlets to report her death using her actual name and not her dead name. Multiple local news outlets, including ABC News 4, had reported on her death by calling her by her given name before she identified as a woman.
The Human Rights Campaign estimates that Stuckey is the 12th Black trans woman to be killed in 2019. The LGBTQ advocacy group has been tracking the number of transgender people murdered each year.
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Chase Glenn, the executive director of Alliance for Full Acceptance, released a statement Sunday saying that Stuckey is the third known Black transgender woman to be murdered in South Carolina since 2018.
“I am heartbroken and outraged by the news of yet another murder of one of our transgender community members,” Glenn said. “We refuse to become numb. We will continue to say the names of these women and remember them how they would have wanted to be remembered.”
Local residents held a memorial for Stuckey in North Charleston on Monday night, HuffPost reports.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, violence against the trans community continues to reach alarming rates in recent years. The advocacy group says the violence reached an all-time high in 2017, according to a report from that year and at least 26 transgender people were killed in 2018 with the majority of them being trans women of color.
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