Updated: Dec 7, 2020
“As a trans woman of color, I know most well how we are disproportionately impacted and marginalized. When will I stop seeing news feeds or news threads or stories about trans women being brutally murdered?”
These are the words of Richmond activist Zakia McKensey in response to the death of 30-year-old Chae'Meshia Simms.
Police responded to a call at 6 a.m. about a car that had crashed in alley in the Washington Park Neighborhood. The police announced that Chae'Meshia was found dead inside her mother's rental car with an apparent gunshot wound. Her family explained that she was on her way home.
Family and friends gathered Friday to mourn her and give a voice to transgenders. Chae'Meshia's father spoke out urging for the shooter to "turn yourself in", saying "we will never stop looking." At the moment, there is no motive or suspect. The coroner is to announce an autopsy report by Saturday.
Chae'Meshia's death comes on the heels of Trans Awareness Week. The Human Rights Campaign announced that 2020 was the deadliest year on record for transgender and non-confirming people. There have been at least 37 transgenders reported dead in 2020 and about 200 deaths since 2013.
Executive Director David J. Jones of the National Black Justice Coalition, wrote a statement saying, “What I want is for the violence that Black trans women experience to end, once and for all. There is no explanation for the continued violence that Black trans women and femme identified members of our community face, especially not during a global movement for Black lives. This is on us, this is on all of us.”
So, here's what you can do. Please share this page to gain awareness and if anyone knows any information please reach out to the following sources:
Major Crimes Detective M. Godwin at 804-646-5533 or Crime Stoppers at 804- 780-1000.