News & Opinion
UPDATED: The Atlanta Police Department tells Gaye Magazine that they are investigating after a person was found dead near a shopping plaza in southwest Atlanta.
Police confirmed a person was found shot to death at the intersection of Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW and Hamilton E. Holmes NW.
Friends of Rasheeda Williams aka Koko Da Doll, shared on Facebook that Koko was the victim found. Williams was recently featured in the award-winning Sundance Film Festival documentary “Kokomo City” earlier this year.
Gaye Magazine previously reported on Koko amongst other Black trans women featured in Kokomo City. Directed by Grammy award-winning producer D. Smith, the film broke barriers this year at the Sundance Film Festival as it portrayed the lives of four African American transgender sex workers between New York City and Atlanta.
The film received the coveted Audience Award and the Adobe Innovator Award, later to be picked up by Lena Waithe’s company Hillman Grad.
Atlanta PD tells Gaye that details are limited at this time and the investigation is ongoing. Gaye Magazine’s team and staff sends our sincerest condolences to Koko’s friends, family and co-stars.
A GoFundMe communication associate contacted Gaye Magazine to confirm that Williams’ family is seeking assistance to plan her homegoing. Koko’s family and friends have raised more $10,000 so far. The largest contributor comes from Lena Waithe’s production company Hilman Grad, donating $2,500.
The director of the film D. Smith, made an official statement after learning of Williams’ death, saying:
“On Tuesday night, Rasheeda Williams was shot and killed in Atlanta. Rasheeda, aka Koko Da Doll, was the latest victim of violence against Black transgender women,” Kokomo City director D. Smith said in a statement provided exclusively to Deadline.
“I created Kokomo City because I wanted to show the fun, humanized, natural side of Black trans women. I wanted to create images that didn’t show the trauma or the statistics of murder of Transgender lives. I wanted to create something fresh and inspiring. I did that. We did that! But here we are again. It’s extremely difficult to process Koko’s passing, but as a team we are more encouraged now than ever to inspire the world with her story. To show how beautiful and full of life she was. She will inspire generations to come and will never be forgotten.”
Donate to Rasheeda Williams' GoFundMe here.