Alabama woman is first known trans person killed this year in U.S.
Dana Martin, a 31-year-old black transgender woman, was found dead on Jan. 6 near Montgomery, Alabama.
By Tim Fitzsimons
Dana Martin, an Alabama transgender woman, was found dead on Jan. 6 near Montgomery. The 31-year-old Hope Hull resident is the first known transgender person to be killed so far this year.
Martha Earnhardt of the Montgomery Police Department confirmed that Martin was found in the driver’s seat of a car with a gunshot wound and that police are investigating her death as a homicide. No arrests have been made, and police are not releasing further details at this time.
“Our local LGBTQ community is heart-broken and outraged that the first transgender murder has occurred here in Montgomery,” Meta Ellis and Harvey McDaniel of LGBTQ advocacy group Montgomery Pride United said in a statement shared with NBC News. “Dana Martin was a well-loved person in the community and she will be greatly missed.”
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The group encouraged people with information about Martin’s death to contact authorities.
Even if a suspect in her death is identified and charged, a murder charge in Alabama can’t be up-charged as a hate crime, because the state’s hate crime law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity as protected classes.
“It is clear that fatal violence disproportionately affects transgender women of color, and that the intersections of racism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia conspire to deprive them of necessities to live and thrive,” the organization wrote in a statement released following Martin's death.
Martin's death also marks the Montgomery Police Department's first homicide investigation of the year.