Two men have been charged for shooting a transgender woman in Detroit
Two men have been charged in connection with the armed robbery and shooting of a transgender woman.
The 36-year-old victim was left seriously injured by the shooting, which took place on the west side of Detroit.
Authorities say that around 1:50 am on November 17, Charles Marion Brown, 21, and Jujuan Alexon Williams, 19, jumped out of a car and told the victim to drop everything and run.
When the victim complied, dropping her purse and fleeing on foot, police allege that Brown used a semi-automatic rifle to fire five shots at the woman.
As three bullets struck her, the men fled in the car, leaving the woman critically injured.
It’s unclear if she was targeted because she is transgender.
“On the eve of the national Transgender Day of Remembrance, this case illustrates the horrific acts of violence to which transgender persons are subject,” said Dana Nessel, the president of LGBT rights group Fair Michigan.
“We applaud the Detroit police officers, whose quick response and investigation brought the defendants into custody.”
The men’s next scheduled court date is November 28.
Between 2011 and 2016, seven trans or gender non-conforming individuals were killed in Detroit.
Of that number, all were last seen in the Palmer Park neighbourhood.
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The urban area is where many trans and gender non-conforming individuals congregate, Julisa Abad, the transgender director of outreach and advocacy at the Fair Michigan Justice Project, explained.
“Trans sisters in our community know they can come to Six Mile and Woodward to make money, to survive, but we need to take away the issues forcing them there.”
The very labour that trans people rely on, however, also invites danger, as they take up what Abad refers to as “survival sex work.”
“Nobody says: ‘I want to wake up and be a prostitute, I want to wake up and do survival sex work.’
“It’s just disheartening.”