In April 2023, Ashley Burton, a 37-year-old hairstylist and makeup artist, was shot and killed in Savannah, Georgia. The perpetrator, 31-year-old Darius Mills, shot Burton in the face to steal her phone and broke into her apartment for another phone. Mills is currently in jail after being arrested for an unrelated case.
According to Transgender Europe (TGEU), within the past 12 months, 321 trans and gender-diverse individuals have been killed worldwide for being who they are. The United States ranks third in the number of murders, with 31 individuals dead within a year. Mexico reports a slightly higher number of deaths at 52 per year, while Brazil has the highest number of deaths at 100 trans individuals in the last year.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) found that in the last 12 months, 90.9% of the transgender and gender non-conforming victims of deadly violence were people of color, with trans women accounting for 69.7% of those victims.
Despite a slight decrease in reported incidents, many deaths in the trans and gender-nonconforming community go unreported. Additionally, 51.5% of trans women were misgendered by police or in news reports.
Koko Da Doll, a trans woman and filmmaker, was shot to death in Atlanta in April 2023. She had previously made a film titled “Kokomo City” to shed light on the struggles faced by homeless and trans women in New York and Atlanta.
Kelley Robinson, President of the HRC, described the violence against transgender and gender non-conforming people as a national tragedy and embarrassment.
The article event took place in Savannah, Georgia, but the data presented is relevant to the United States as a whole.